Quad leaders' summit: Here's what Modi, Biden, Morrison and Suga said in opening remarks
Washington, Sep 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with his counterparts from Australia and Japan on Friday attended the first in-person meeting of Quad leaders hosted by US President Joe Biden during which they plan to discuss issues like climate change, COVID-19 pandemic and challenges in the Indo Pacific, amidst China's growing military presence in the strategic region.
In November 2017, India, Japan, the US and Australia gave shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the Quad to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence. At the invitation of President Biden, Prime Minister Modi and his counterparts Scott Morrison from Australia and Yoshihide Suga from Japan gathered in the American capital for the first-ever in-person Quad summit at the White House on Friday.
What did the Four Leaders say in their opening remarks?
Indian PM Narendra Modi
I express my gratitude to President Joe Biden for first in-person Quad meeting. Four countries, for the first time, came together to help the Indo-pacific region after the 2004 Tsunami. Today when the world is battling with COVID-19, we being the Quad members are again together in the interest of humanity. Our Quad vaccine initiative will help people of the Indo-pacific region.
On the basis of our common democratic values, Quad has decided to move ahead with positive thought and approach. I would be happy to discuss supply chain or global security, climate action or Covid response or cooperation in technology with Quad members. Quad in a way will work in the role of force for global good. I believe our cooperation in Quad will ensure peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and the entire world.
Australian PM Scott Morrison
The Quad is about demonstrating that how the democracies such as ours get things done. They can do with the big challenges, we face in a very complex in changing world. And there is no part of the world that is more dynamic than Indo-Pacific at this time. We believe in a free and open Indo-Pacific because we know that's what to live in a strong, stable and prosperous region. So our citizens can realise their hopes and dreams for their future in a liberal and free society.
US President Joe Biden
When we met six months ago, we made concrete commitments to shared and positive agenda for a free and open Indo-Pacific. Today I am proud to say that we are making excellent progress. Today, we are also launching a new Quad fellowship for students from each of our Quad countries to pursue advanced degrees in leading stem programs here in the United States, representing an investment in the leaders, innovators and pioneers of tomorrow.
Japan PM Yoshihide Suga
I had requested you in April for it (to lift the ban) and It's a huge step that you (US) took, thank you for it. Quad is a very important initiative by the 4 nations that believe in fundamental rights and are of the view that Indo-Pacific should be free and open. To date, Quad has given its absolute cooperation in big sectors, be it regional challenges or COVID-19. We have come here for the first in-person Quad Leaders' Summit. This Summit shows the relations shared by our four nations and the commitment we have for a free and open Indo-Pacific region.