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'Good to be among friends': First Quad summit calls for free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide and US President Joe Biden met virtually for the first time to discuss the agendas covering areas like vaccines, climate change and emerging technologies and the Indo-Pacific region.

First Quad summit calls for free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific-VPN
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New Delhi, First Published Mar 12, 2021, 9:29 PM IST
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Amidst rising China's assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region, the leaders of four nations, including India, Australia, Japan and the US held their first 'Leaders Summit' and called for a commitment to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide and US President Joe Biden met virtually for the first time to discuss the agendas covering areas like vaccines, climate change and emerging technologies and the Indo-Pacific region.

Initiating the Summit, US President Joe Biden called renewing commitment to international law in the Indo-Pacific and said, "The Quad is going to be a vital arena for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and I look forward to working closely with all the leaders."

The United States is committed to working for stability in the strategically important region, he said.

During the Summit, Prime Minister Modi said, "It is good to be among the friends. We are united by our democratic values, and our commitment to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. Our agenda today made Quad a force for global good. We will work together like ever before."

"I see this positive vision as an extension of India's ancient philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which regards the world as one family. We will work together, closer than ever before for advancing our shared values and promoting a secure, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific," PM Modi said.

Australian Prime Minister Morrison said, "It's the Indo-Pacific that will now shape the destiny of the world in the 21st Century. As four leaders of great democracies in Indo-Pacific, let our partnership be an enabler of peace, stability and prosperity and to do so inclusively with many nations in the region."

Japanese PM Yoshihide thanked all Quad partners for supporting Japan in earthquake relief and said that his country wished "to make a visible and tangible contribution to the region".

The meeting of Quad leaders assumed significance as all the four countries have either trade or security disputes with China. 

India has been engaged in a border standoff with China for over 10 months at multiple locations in eastern Ladakh. However, disengagement has taken place at two friction points and talks are on to further disengage and de-escalate the troops and weapons from the remaining points. 

The US has been favouring making Quad a security architecture to check China's growing assertiveness.

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