'Quad Encourages a Free, Open, Inclusive Indo-Pacific Region': PM Narendra Modi
PM Modi said that Quad had made an important place for itself before the world in a short span of time.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in a Quad Leaders' Summit in Tokyo along with United States President Joe Biden, Australian PM Anthony Albanese, and Japanese PM Fumio Kishida on Tuesday, 24 May.
In his opening remarks at the summit, PM Modi said that Quad had made an important place for itself before the world in a short span of time. "Today, Quad's scope has become extensive, its form effective. Our mutual trust, and our determination is giving new energy and enthusiasm to democratic powers," PM Modi said.
The prime minister further said that at the Quad level, with the countries cooperating mutually, a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific Region was being encouraged, which was the shared goal.
He also said that despite the pandemic, the countries had increased their coordination for vaccine delivery, climate action, supply chain resilience, disaster response, economic cooperation, and other areas.
"It has ensured peace, prosperity, and stability in Indo-Pacific," PM Modi said.
PM Modi also congratulated new Australian PM Anthony Albanese for winning the elections. "Your presence amongst us 24 hours after taking the oath reflects the strength of Quad friendship and your commitment towards it," he told the leader.
Albanese, leader of Australia's Labor Party, was sworn in on Monday as the country's 31st Prime Minister following his victory in the May federal election.
PM Modi had landed in Japan's capital city in the wee hours of Monday, and met Japanese business leaders a day ahead of the Quad Summit.
'US Will Be Strong, Steady & Enduring Partner': Biden
Meanwhile, US President Biden addressed the summit, lambasting Russian President Putin for the war, which he said was his attempt to extinguish a culture.
"This is more than just a European issue, it's a global issue. Global food crisis may worsen with Russia blocking Ukraine from exporting its grains. As long as Russia continues the war, US will work with its partners," Biden stated.
Biden also promised that the US would be a strong, steady, and enduring partner in the Indo-Pacific.
"We are Indo-Pacific powers. As long as Russia continues the war, we are going to be partners and lead a global response. We stay together for the shared values and vision we have," he vowed.
He went on to talk specifically about the tasks ahead for the Quad, which he said included keeping the region peaceful and stable, tacking the pandemic, and addressing the climate crisis.
'Quad Partnership Needed Now More Than Ever': Australian PM Albanese
PM Albanese said that the Australian government was committed to working with the Quad countries.
"The new Australian government gives priority to taking action on climate change and building a more resilient Indo-Pacific region through economic, cyber, energy, health and environmental security," he stated.
He further said that as the Indo-Pacific had reshaped, the Quad partnership was needed now more than ever. "The region is looking to us to lead by example," he said.
On climate change, Albanese said that Australia would act in recognition that climate change was the main economic and security challenge for the island nations of the Pacific. "My government will set a new target to reduce emissions by 43 percent by 2030, putting us on track for net-zero emissions by 2050," he promised.
He also added that Australia would provide more resources and energies to securing the region as they enter a new and more complex phase in the Pacific strategic environment.
"We'll continue to stand with you, our like-minded friends and collectively stand for each other," Albanese added.
'Russian Invasion Challenges Principles Enshrined in UN Charter': Japan PM
Meanwhile, Japanese PM Fumio Kishida said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine squarely challenged the principles enshrined in the UN Charter.
Adding that all leaders should strive to make sure that the Indo-Pacific region never faces such a challenge, he stated, "A grave incident which has fundamentally shaken the rules-based international order has taken place since we met last September... We should never ever allow a similar incident to happen in the Indo-Pacific region."
The Japanese PM urged all state heads to "listen carefully to voices of the countries in the ASEAN, South Asia as well as the Pacific Island countries, so as to further advance cooperation, conducive to solving urgent issues facing the vision".
Reiterating the commitments of the grouping, the PM stressed on showing the international community Quad's solidarity and cooperation in ensuring a free and fair Indo-Pacific region.
The new areas of cooperation on the agenda include regional climate change, maritime domain awareness, humanitarian and disaster aid, the PM added.
Australia To Host Next Quad Summit in 2023
Following his meet with other leaders of the grouping, Australian PM Anthony Albanese declared that "he looks forward to hosting Quad leaders in Australia in 2023."
The Quad summit, the second in-person meeting of these leaders, is taking place under the shadow of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
On Monday, PM Modi held separate meetings with a number of leading Japanese CEOs, besides a roundtable with Japanese business leaders and an interaction with the Indian community.
Modi's pre-departure statement stressed focussing on issues, both regional, like China, and global, like the going Russia-Ukraine war.
The Modi-Biden meeting in Tokyo will be the second face-to-face meeting of both the leaders within a year. PM Modi will also hold separate bilateral meetings with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida and newly-elected Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
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