The third edition of the Quad Ministerial level meeting will be held on Thursday (February 18) with the respective Foreign Ministers of India, Australia, Japan, and the US. The ministers will discuss and exchange views on regional and global issues especially on areas of cooperation towards maintaining a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, according to the Ministry of External Affairs statement on Thursday (Feb 18).
“The 3rd India-Australia-Japan-USA Ministerial Meeting will be held today with the participation of the respective Foreign Ministers,” the statement confirmed.
The Indian Foreign Ministry said the latest meeting will provide an opportunity to continue dialogue on issues that were discussed during the last meeting in Tokyo on October 6, 2020. ” The Ministers will exchange views on regional and global issues especially practical areas of cooperation towards maintaining a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region. They will also discuss ongoing efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, addressing global climate change and other issues of mutual interest,” said MEA in its statement.
On Wednesday, US State Department Secretary Antony Blinken confirmed that he will be speaking with his counterparts from Japan, Australia, and India who are a part of the “Quad” group of countries on Wednesday (local time).
The Quad countries expect the grouping can help tackle the economic coercion tactics of China, cooperation with Japan and other allies which will work as a checkmate for Chinese development assistance and its hegemony in the region. Australia and India have been working together even more closely on the strategic front, like Malabar exercises, QUAD groupings, the partnership on several strategic areas.
As per reports in Japan Times, this comes as members of the Quad framework- the US, India, Japan, and Australia – are working to arrange the first meeting of their leaders amid China’s growing clout in the region. The Biden administration appears eager to build on the renewed attention to the grouping of the four major Indo-Pacific democracies, with national security adviser Jake Sullivan calling it “a foundation upon which to build substantial American policy in the Indo-Pacific”, reported the daily quoting a source.