India, Australia, Japan and the US have jointly pledged to work together for ensuring peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific and the world, as top leaders of the Quad grouping announced a slew of new initiatives to take on common challenges, amidst muscle flexing by an assertive China in the strategic region, reported PTI.
In a way, Quad would play the role as a “force for global good,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his short address and exuded confidence that this cooperation by the four democracies will ensure peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and the world.
Modi was the first leader invited by host President Joe Biden to address the first in-person Quad gathering in the East Room of the White House. Biden, who earlier in the day had a more than an-hour long meeting with Modi, described the prime minister as “my friend.”
Opening the summit, President Biden said the four democracies have come together to take on common challenges from Covid to climate. “This group has democratic partners who share world views and have common vision for the future,” he said.
“When we met six months ago, we made a concrete commitment to advance our shared positive agenda for free and open up the session. Today we are proud to say that we’re making progress,” Biden said. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his Japanese counterpart Suga were the two other leaders in the historic East Room.
The vaccine initiative is on track, Biden said, adding that the Quad is taking action on climate change with a new partnership for zero emission shipping.
“Today, we’re also launching a new quad fellowship for students from each of our five countries to pursue advanced degrees in leading Science, Technology Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programmes through the United States,” Biden said.
The four countries have a long history of cooperation. “We know how to get things done. And we are up to the challenge,” Biden said.
Thanking Biden for his initiative to organise this historic first ever in-person Quad Summit, Modi said the four countries came together for the first time in 2004 to extend support to the Indo-Pacific Region. “Today, when the world is grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic, we are meeting once again as Quad and working in the interest of humanity,” he said.
The Quad vaccine initiative is going to provide a great help to the nations in the Indo-Pacific region, he said.