During the fourth "Quadrilateral Security Dialogue," or Quad, which was a meeting of the foreign ministers of Australia, India, and Japan, and the Secretary of State of the United States (US) in Melbourne on 11 February 2022, the leaders reaffirmed Quad’s commitment to a “free and open Indo-Pacific region which is inclusive and resilient.”
While reiterating their condemnation of terrorist attacks in India, including the Mumbai (26/11) and Pathankot attacks, the statement released by the foreign ministers said that Afghan territory should not be used to “threaten or attack any country, shelter or train terrorists, or plan or finance terrorist acts."
The statement added that such “ungoverned spaces” are a direct threat to the safety and security of the Indo-Pacific.
The Quad is exchanging information on ever-evolving threats and working with Indo-Pacific countries, and in multilateral forums, to counter all forms of terrorism and violent extremism, it added.
The foreign ministers, S Jaishankar, Marise Payne, Yoshimasa Hayashi, and Anthony Blinken, reaffirmed their support for efforts by the Asean (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) to seek a solution in Myanmar and called on the military regime to urgently implement Asean’s Five-Point Consensus and swiftly return Myanmar to the path of democracy.
“We remain gravely concerned about the crisis in Myanmar and call for an end to violence, the release of all those arbitrarily detained, including foreigners, and unhindered humanitarian access," the Quad said.
“We encourage the international community to work together to support an end to the violence," the statement added.
While addressing a press conference, Jaishankar said all members of the Quad were troubled by Myanmar’s move away from the path of democratic transition.
However, as the US, the United Kingdom, and Canada work towards ensuring "accountability" for the military coup in Myanmar by imposing fresh sanctions on more local officials, India said in the Quad press conference that it does not follow a 'policy of national sanctions.'
Jaishankar said: "But we India are concerned as an immediate land-border neighbour. We have some very specific concerns on Myanmar, which also guides our thinking. Concerns about insurgents operating there who some months ago killed a very senior military officer and his family, concerns about Covid and the lack of vaccination on our common border and also about a humanitarian situation, which is arising from food shortages. As far as we are concerned, we don’t follow a policy of national sanctions."
The Quad partners have collectively provided more than 500 million vaccine doses and pledged to donate more than 1.3 billion vaccine doses globally.
To combat the Covid-19 pandemic, the Quad agreed to expedite the delivery of safe and affordable vaccines, support capacity building, and augment infrastructure for ‘last mile’ delivery, Jaishankar said.
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