First Quad leaders’ summit today, focus on cooperation in Indo-Pacific region, COVID-19, climate change

New Delhi: With a focus on practical cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Region, the supply of COVID-19 vaccines and climate change, the first-ever meeting of the Quad Summit will take place on Friday. 

The summit will take place virtually at 7 PM (IST), with PM Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, Australian PM Scott Morrison, and Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga joining participating in it.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), in its statement on Quad Summit, said, that the “Summit will provide an opportunity to exchange views on contemporary challenges such as resilient supply chains, emerging and critical technologies, maritime security, and climate change. “

On the COVID-19 vaccines, the MEA statement said, the “leaders will discuss ongoing efforts to combat Covid-19 pandemic and explore opportunities for collaboration in ensuring safe, equitable and affordable vaccines in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Quad first came into existence after the 2004 Tsunami and was first formalized in 2007. At that time Australia had issues, with the grouping again meeting a decade later in 2017 at the official level.

Since 2019, Quad has had conversations at the foreign ministers’ level, 3 times.

The White House also released a statement in which it said, “That President Biden has made this one of his earliest multilateral engagements speaks to the importance we place on close cooperation with our allies and partners in the Indo- Pacific.” 

“A range of issues, of course, will be discussed — we expect to be discussed, I should say — facing the global community from the threat of COVID, to economic cooperation, and of course, to the climate crisis,” it added.

The Quad meeting comes at a time of increased Chinese aggressiveness, not only in the region but with Quad member countries as well. 

Beijing has locked horns with Australia and the US on the trade front, Japan over Senkaku islands, and a border stand-off with India, that has seen disengagement at one area so far.

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