The Quad - the four-way dialogue between the US, Japan, India and Australia - has met at the ministerial level for the first time in a "significant elevation" of the dialogue on efforts by the partners countries to advance cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, said the Acting Assistant Secretary for South Asia, Alice Wells.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hosted the meeting in New York on Thursday (26 September) that was attended by Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, and Foreign Ministers Toshimitsu Motegi of Japan and Marise Payne of Australia.
"We had a wide-ranging discussion of our collective efforts to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific, but also touching on counterterrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, maritime security cooperation, development finance, and cybersecurity," Wells said at a State Department briefing.
"The US and Indian joint participation in the Quad also demonstrates the strength of the US-India relationship and our shared commitment to, again, advancing a values-based policy towards the region," she said.
The Quad has met four times in the past two years at the level of senior officials, but the ministerial meeting "was a significant elevation of the level of our dialogue and really demonstrates the leadership of all four countries in institutionalising this gathering of like-minded Indo-Pacific partners", Wells said.
"We had a wide-ranging discussion of our collective efforts to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific, but also touching on counterterrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, maritime security cooperation, development finance, and cybersecurity," she said.
(With inputs from IANS)
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