The Quad is a force for global good, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the first historic in-person summit of the leaders of Australia, India, US and Japan, since the Covid-19 pandemic.
Modi thanked United States President Joe Biden for the in-person summit of the grouping, and said the four nations first came together in 2004 to help the Indo-Pacific region in the aftermath of the Tsunami. “Now, that the world is combating the Covid-19 pandemic, we are meeting again under the Quad for the betterment of humanity," he said in Hindi.
The Quad’s vaccine initiative will help the nations of the Indo-Pacific greatly, the Prime Minister said. Signalling further strengthening of the grouping, Modi said with the sorted democratic values of the four nations, the Quad had decided to move ahead with a positive mindset and approach.
“Supply chain, or global security, climate action or Covid response, or technology: I will be very happy to discuss these issues with my counterparts," Modi said.
The Quad will work as a ‘force for global good’, the Prime Minister said, adding that he believed the nations’ cooperation would bring peace and prosperity to the Indo-Pacific region and the world.
The summit, attended by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japan PM Yoshihide Suga was hosted by US President Joe Biden, comes amidst China’s growing military presence in the strategic region.
In November 2017, India, Japan, the US and Australia gave shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the Quad to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence. At the invitation of President Biden, Prime Minister Modi and his counterparts Scott Morrison from Australia and Yoshihide Suga from Japan gathered in the American capital for the first-ever in-person Quad summit at the White House.
In his opening remarks, President Biden said the four democracies have come together to take on common challenges from Covid to climate. “We know how to get things done and are up to the challenge," he said.
Modi’s remarks at the Quad summit came after his bilateral meeting with Joe Biden at the White House, in which the leaders espoused growing Indo-US ties and trade.
‘New Chapter in Indo-US Ties Begins’
Modi on Friday described as “outstanding" his first bilateral meeting with Biden who said the Indo-US relationship is destined to be “stronger, closer and tighter as the two leaders discussed a wide range of issues, including combating COVID-19, climate change, trade and the Indo-Pacific. President Biden, who welcomed Prime Minister Modi in the Oval Office of the White House said that today they are starting a new chapter in US-India relationship.
Observing that he has long believed that the US, India relationship can help them solve global challenges, Biden in his opening remarks before a battery of India and American media said they are now are launching a new chapter in history of India US ties, taking on some of the toughest challenges we face together. And this starts with a shared commitment to end COVID-19, he said.
Modi, who is visiting the US for the 7th time after assuming office in 2014, described Friday’s bilateral meeting with Biden that lasted more than 60 minutes as “important" as they’re meeting at the start of the third decade of this century. “Your leadership will certainly play an important role in how this decade is shaped. The seeds have been sown for an even stronger friendship between India and the US, Prime Minister Modi told Biden.
“Had an outstanding meeting with @POTUS @JoeBiden. His leadership on critical global issues is commendable. We discussed how India and USA will further scale-up cooperation in different spheres and work together to overcome key challenges like COVID-19 and climate change," Modi tweeted after the meeting. Biden said the relationship between India and the US, the largest democracies in the world, is “destined to be stronger, closer and tighter."