Ukraine focus of Quad leaders’ meeting, PM Modi stresses on dialogue, diplomacy

New Delhi, Mar 3 : The developments in Ukraine were the focus of talks during a virtual meeting of Quad leaders on Thursday night, with PM Modi emphasizing India’s stand of dialogue and diplomacy as the way out, during discussions with the leaders of the US, Australia and Japan.
The meeting between PM Modi, US President Joe Biden, Australian PM Scott Morrison, and PM Kishida Fumio of Japan, comes as India has consistently abstained during voting in the UN Security Council and the General Assembly, on resolutions condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The other three nations have voted for the UN resolutions and have slapped tough sanctions on Moscow.
According to a PMO statement, “Developments in Ukraine were discussed in the meeting, including its humanitarian implications. The Prime Minister emphasised the need to return to a path of dialogue and diplomacy.”
India has voiced concern over the deteriorating situation in Ukraine and its efforts at evacuating thousands of its citizens from the war-hit nation.
While the meeting was closed to the media, the US in a statement said that Biden would hold a “secure video call with fellow Quad Leaders” ”to discuss the war against Ukraine and its implications for the Indo-Pacific”.
The PMO statement said that the leaders also discussed other topical issues, including developments in the ASEAN, the Indian Ocean region and the Pacific Islands. PM Modi reiterated the importance of adhering to the UN Charter, international law and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity — which is what India has been stating at the UN, during the resolutions on Ukraine.
The statement said the meeting reviewed the progress on Quad initiatives since the September 2021 Quad Summit. The leaders agreed on accelerating cooperation, with an objective to achieve concrete outcomes by the summit in Japan later this year.
PM underlined that the Quad must remain focused on its core objective of promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
He called for concrete and practical forms of cooperation within the Quad, in areas like Humanitarian and Disaster Relief, debt sustainability, supply chains, clean energy, connectivity, and capacity-building. The leaders agreed to stay in touch and to work towards an ambitious agenda for the forthcoming Leaders’ Summit in Japan, the statement said.
President Biden in a tweet, said he met with his fellow Quad leaders “about Russia’s ongoing attack on Ukraine and our commitment to sovereignty and territorial integrity around the world, including in the Indo-Pacific.”
Japan’s PM Kishida, in tweets, was more forthright on Ukraine. He said ” lateral changes to the status quo by force or coercion like the recent Russian aggression against Ukraine are also unacceptable in the Indo-Pacific region.”
“It is critically important for us to bring about a free and open Indo-Pacific. We agreed we will work in close cooperation to ensure the success of our next face-to-face Quad summit, which will be held in Tokyo in the coming months. “
A White House readout of the meeting said, the four leaders convened “to reaffirm their commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, in which the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states is respected and countries are free from military, economic, and political coercion”. “They reaffirmed their dedication to the Quad as a mechanism to promote regional stability and prosperity.” “The Quad leaders discussed the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and assessed its broader implications.
“They agreed to stand up a new humanitarian assistance and disaster relief mechanism which will enable the Quad to meet future humanitarian challenges in the Indo-Pacific and provide a channel for comm cation as they each address and respond to the crisis in Ukraine.” RN

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