The first-ever summit of the leaders of the Quadrilateral Framework or ‘Quad’ will take place virtually on March 12, the Ministry of External Affairs announced on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the discussion which will also witness the participation of the United States President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The leaders will discuss ongoing efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and explore opportunities for collaboration in ensuring safe, equitable and affordable vaccines in the Indo-Pacific region, the statement read from the External Affairs Ministry.
“The leaders will discuss regional and global issues of shared interest, and exchange views on practical areas of cooperation towards maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region. The Summit will provide an opportunity to exchange views on contemporary challenges such as resilient supply chains, emerging and critical technologies, maritime security, and climate change,” the statement added.
Ahead of Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) head of states meet, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga had a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier today. The conversation lasted for forty minutes.
The two leaders shared the recognition that cooperation towards realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific is becoming increasingly important and to this end, shared the view to steadily advance both Japan-India bilateral cooperation and Japan-Australia-India-US quadrilateral cooperation, according to a press release of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Japan.
The US President had spoken to PM Narendra Modi in February in which the White House said the leaders would work toward “a stronger regional architecture through the Quad.”
Last month, the foreign ministers of the four countries held an online meeting, in which they agreed to work toward a “free and open Indo-Pacific” region while strongly opposing any attempts by Beijing to alter the status quo in the East and South China seas by force.
China has criticised the framework as an Asian version of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization seeking to undermine its legitimate rise. (ANI)