Fri, 01 Jul 2022

Tokyo [Japan], May 24 (ANI): The agenda during the Quad Leaders' Summit was constructive, cooperative and forward-leaning and they discussed challenges and opportunities that are there in the Indo-Pacific region, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said on Tuesday.

He said the leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the US also looked at the economic dimension of cooperation in the region.

The Foreign Secretary, who addressed a special briefing on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two-day visit to Japan, said Quad was focused on forward-leaning partnerships.

He was asked a volley of questions related to China including Russian and Chinese fighter jets conducting a joint aerial exercise over the sea of Japan on Tuesday amid the ongoing Quadrilateral Security Dialogue.

"The discussion agenda was constructive, cooperative and forward-leaning. They discussed challenges and opportunities that are there in the Indo-Pacific but specific actions would perhaps appear in bilateral discussions individually. Quad was focused on forward-leaning partnerships," he said.

The joint statement issued by the leaders of four countries after the summit, however, made a veiled reference to China.

"We will champion adherence to international law, particularly as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and the maintenance of freedom of navigation and overflight, to meet challenges to the maritime rules-based order, including in the East and South China Seas," the statement said.

"We strongly oppose any coercive, provocative or unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo and increase tensions in the area, such as the militarization of disputed features, the dangerous use of coast guard vessels and maritime militia, and efforts to disrupt other countries' offshore resource exploitation activities," it added.

The Quad meeting was attended by PM Modi, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. (ANI)

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