Source : Press Trust of India (PTI)
|From Left, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi|
The foreign ministers of Quad countries on Friday reaffirmed the grouping’s commitment for a free and open Indo-Pacific, and said it strongly supports the principles of rule of law, sovereignty and territorial integrity and peaceful settlement of disputes.
The Quad foreign ministers carried out a comprehensive review of the situation in the Indo-Pacific at a meeting presided over by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, his Japanese counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi and Australia’s Penny Wong.
The meeting came in the backdrop of growing global concerns over increasing Chinese assertiveness in the region.
“Our meeting today reaffirms the Quad’s steadfast commitment to supporting a free and open Indo-Pacific, which is inclusive and resilient,” a joint statement said.
“We strongly support the principles of freedom, rule of law, sovereignty and territorial integrity, peaceful settlement of disputes without resorting to threat or use of force and freedom of navigation and overflight, and oppose any unilateral attempt to change the status quo, all of which are essential to the peace, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region and beyond,” it said.
The foreign ministers said the Quad is acting as a force for regional and global good, and it will be guided by the priorities of the Indo-Pacific region through its positive and constructive agenda.
The statement said through the Quad, the countries 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.
It also talked about addressing the debt crisis through sustainable, transparent and fair lending and financing practices.
“We concur that the rules-based international order is anchored in international law, including the UN Charter, and the principles of sovereignty, political independence, and territorial integrity of all states,” it said.
“We are committed to cooperate to address attempts to unilaterally subvert the UN and international system, in consultation with our partners and through multilateral and international platforms,” it added.