New Delhi, Sep 25 (UNI) Ahead of a meeting of Foreign Ministers from India, Japan, Australia and the US later this year, senior diplomats from these countries held a video conference on Friday and reaffirmed their commitment towards a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region. They want it to be based on shared values and principles and respect for international law.
The QUAD has been widely seen as a grouping aiming to contain China. Last they had met at the official level in November 2019 and at the Ministerial level in September previous year. Taking up the threads from those interactions, the officials exchanged views on ongoing and proposed practical cooperation in the areas of connectivity and infrastructure development and security matters, including counter-terrorism, cyber and maritime security.
The group pointedly noted that the objective was to promote peace, security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region – an area where China has started to become more active. In the context of the ongoing pandemic, the officials underscored the importance of enhancing the resilience of supply chains and sharing best practices on how to combat the pandemic, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
The officials reiterated their support for the ASEAN-Centrality and the ASEAN-led mechanisms particularly the leaders-led East Asia Summit, in the regional architecture for the Indo-Pacific, and their readiness to work with the ASEAN and all other countries towards realising a common and promising vision for the Indo-Pacific. They appreciated the Vietnamese chairmanship of the ASEAN and looked forward to the 15th East Asia Summit in November this year. The officials also looked forward to the Ministerial consultations to be held later this year.