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India hosting Quad Foreign Ministers' meeting, Indo-Pacific remains key focus point
Image: S Jaishankar Twitter page

India hosting Quad Foreign Ministers' meeting, Indo-Pacific remains key focus point

| @indiablooms | 03 Mar 2023, 04:18 pm

New Delhi: India is currently hosting the meeting of the Quad Foreign Ministers on Friday where  Indo-Pacific will remain a key focus of discussion.

The meeting was being chaired by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

The Indian Minister tweeted: " Began the day by meeting my Quad counterparts
@SenatorWong , Yoshimasa Hayashi and @SecBlinken."

" Reaffirmed that the Quad is ‘for’, not ‘against’. And for an inclusive,resilient, free and open Indo-Pacific," he said.

A joint statement issued as posted on the Ministry of External Affairs said: " We reiterate our conviction that the Quad, acting as a force for regional and global good, will be guided by the priorities of the Indo-Pacific region through its positive and constructive agenda."

"Through the Quad, we seek to support the region through practical cooperation on contemporary challenges such as health security, climate change and the clean energy transition, critical and emerging technologies, infrastructure and connectivity, addressing the debt crisis through sustainable, transparent and fair lending and financing practices, space cooperation, cyber-security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), maritime security and counter-terrorism," read the statement.

"We are committed to supporting Pacific Island countries in line with the objectives of the Pacific Islands Forum's 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, guided by Pacific priorities of climate change, resilient infrastructure and maritime security. We support regional institutions in the Pacific and are also further strengthening our cooperation with the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), to address the region’s most pressing and important challenges. We welcome India’s leadership in finalising the IORA Outlook on the Indo-Pacific," read the statement.

The statement said the leaders are pleased to note the progress made under the Quad Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Partnership (HADR) for the Indo-Pacific.

"We welcome the outcomes of the first HADR tabletop exercise and biannual meeting held in India in December 2022. We look forward to the finalization of the Partnership’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) which would enable an efficacious and coordinated response mechanism," read the statement.

"We note with deep concern that terrorism has become increasingly diffuse, aided by terrorists’ adaptation to, and the use of emerging and evolving technologies such as unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and the internet, including social media platforms for recruitment and incitement to commit terrorist acts, as well as for the financing, planning, and preparation of terrorist activities," the statement said.

"We welcome the focused discussions on these themes at the Quad Counter-Terrorism Policy Meeting and tabletop exercise hosted by Australia in October 2022," read the statement.

"We are pleased to announce the establishment of the Quad Working Group on Counter-Terrorism, which will explore cooperation amongst the Quad, and with Indo-Pacific partners, to counter new and emerging forms of terrorism, radicalization to violence and violent extremism. We look forward to its first meeting in the United States in 2023 to continue our discussions on this global issue," read the statement.

The leaders condemned North Korea’s destabilising ballistic missile launches, including the launch of yet another Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) on Feb 18.

"We reaffirm our commitment to the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and urge North Korea to comply with its obligations under UNSCRs. We reconfirm the necessity of immediate resolution of the abductions issue. We stress the importance of addressing proliferation of nuclear and missile technologies related to North Korea in the region and beyond," the statement said.

"We continued to discuss our responses to the conflict in Ukraine and the immense human suffering it is causing, and concurred that the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible. We underscored the need for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine in accordance with international law, including the UN Charter. We emphasised that the rules-based international order must respect sovereignty, territorial integrity, transparency and peaceful resolution of disputes," the leaders said in the statement over the Ukraine conflict.

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