Published On: Fri, Mar 3rd, 2023

Quad foreign ministers meet: ‘Quad not an initiative for military cooperation’

New Delhi: Australia, India, Japan, and the United States, the four countries that make up the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad), a grouping that focuses on issues relating to the Indo-Pacific region, on Friday, met in New Delhi and declared that it was not an initiative for military cooperation.

They reiterated that the Quad was not intended to oppose China

The ninth Raisina Dialogue was the backdrop for the conference, which was presided over by external affairs minister S. Jaishankar. There were growing concerns around the world regarding rising Chinese aggressiveness in the strategically important Indo-Pacific area.

“I keep reminding people of 2004 because to me if your origins are in common good… there is an innate virtue in your existence. So, we do stand for something, what I would not like to be defined as is standing against something or somebody because that diminishes… that makes it as though some other people are the centre of the world and I am only there to be for them or against them. Actually, I think that I am the centre of the world, but that’s a different matter,” EAM Dr Jaishankar said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, his counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi from Japan, and Penny Wong from Australia also attended.

In remarks seen as a veiled message to Beijing, the members of the Quad reiterated that the grouping was committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific and that it strongly supports the rule of law, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and peaceful settlement of disputes.

They reiterated that the Quad was not intended to oppose China.

“Three big issues that Quad and the world need to address, and I think Quad can address and can make a difference. First, a more reliable and resilient supply chain, second – digital challenge of trust and transparency and third connectivity. I expect these to be a greater part of our agenda,” said EAM Jaishankar.

Yoshimasa Hayashi, the foreign minister of Japan, compared the Quad, which consists of Japan, Australia, the United States, and India, to the iconic English music band The Beatles by calling the Quad more of a “soft Beatles” where “every member may release a solo album of their own”.

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