By SAT News Desk
MELBOURNE, 19 September: The 3rd Quad Ministerial meeting between the Foreign Ministers of India, Australia, Japan, and the USA, on 18 February 2021, amidst the Facebook standoff in Australia and the farm laws, stalemate in India, ended with individual statements by respective countries. Quad meetings do not issue a joint statement.
Attended by Dr. S. Jaishankar, India’s Minister of External Affairs with his counterparts Foreign Minister Marise Payne, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken the Quad meeting statements emphasize solving international disputes in accordance with international law.
Without naming China the online meeting’s emphasized opposing attempts to change the status quo in the Indo-Pacific region.
India’s MEA statement says, “The Ministers emphasized their commitment to upholding a rules-based international order, underpinned by respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, rule of law, transparency, freedom of navigation in the international seas and peaceful resolution of disputes.”
A statement from the Australian Foreign Minister’s office says, “We reaffirmed our commitment to supporting an open, inclusive and resilient region where the rights of all countries are respected and disputes are resolved peacefully, free from coercion, and in accordance with international law.
Underpinning these commitments is our steadfast support for ASEAN centrality and the principles set out in the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. Quad countries work with ASEAN and through ASEAN-led architecture, particularly the East Asia Summit, to advance a stable and prosperous region.
We discussed the increasingly complex strategic challenges facing the region, and the growing pressures on rules, norms, and institutions. Despite the significant disruption COVID-19 is causing, we remain focused on responding to these longer term challenges.”
It adds: “We reiterated our commitment to deepen Quad cooperation on regional priorities ranging from the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, maritime security, infrastructure, supply chain resilience, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief, cyber and critical technologies to countering disinformation. We discussed the importance of deepening our cooperation to address climate change. We reiterated our serious concerns about the military coup in Myanmar and affirmed our commitment to its democratic transition.”
In a Tweet, Marise Payne says: “The Quad has a positive agenda for supporting an open, inclusive & resilient Indo-Pacific. I thank my colleagues Dr. S Jaishankar, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken for a productive discussion on our shared goals.”
Secretary Antony Blinken Tweeted, “I had the pleasure to speak with my Quad counterparts Marise Payne, Moteging, and Dr. S. Jaishankar. I look forward to deepening our cooperation on climate change and COVID-19, supporting ASEAN centrality, and advancing our vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
Speaking to reporters after the online Quad meeting, Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said the ministers also affirmed the need to swiftly restore democracy in Myanmar, where the state military staged a coup on Feb. 1.
“We had candid talks about cooperation toward the free and open Indo-Pacific and on regional and global issues,” including responses to the novel coronavirus pandemic and climate change, Motegi said.