Quad leaders—Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison—at the White House balcony. Photograph:( Twitter )
Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his speech by thanking US President Joe Biden for hosting the Quad conference, which also included Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
With an eye on China, the leaders of India, the US, Japan and Australia held their first-ever in-person summit of the Quad grouping in Washington DC on Saturday, asserting the need for a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Opening the summit, US President Joe Biden announced a Quad Fellowship for students from the countries in STEM subjects.
"Today, we are also launching a new Quad fellowship for students from each of our Quad countries to pursue advanced degrees in leading stem programmes here in the United States, representing an investment in the leaders, innovators & pioneers of tomorrow," Joe Biden said.
#Gravitas | #Quad is an alliance of democracies upholding common values.— WION (@WIONews) September 24, 2021
All 4 members have economic clout, powerful militaries & a common adversary in China.
Then why has the Quad struggled to define its purpose?@palkisu delves into the Quad's history to explain its present. pic.twitter.com/5Llrrnm6Ns
In his remarks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the summit as "historic" and a "force for global good", adding the four democracies "are working in the interest of humanity."
"Our four nations met for the first time after the 2004 Tsunami to help the Indo-Pacific region. Today, when the world is fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic, we have come here once again as Quad for the welfare of humanity."
"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," he said.
Speaking at the Quad leaders meeting. https://t.co/bQzenzUlQa— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 24, 2021
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: "We believe in a free and open Indo-pacific because we know that is what delivers a strong and prosperous region."
"In just 6 months from our last meeting we have already accomplished a lot and we look forward to what's ahead," Morrison added.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said: "Till today Quad has given support, be it Covid or climate. Together we will be able to battle climate change and other challenges."
I hope that we'll have a good & relevant Summit. Besides this, the bans that were placed (that has now been lifted by US) on Japanese food products, I had requested you in April for it (to lift the ban). It's a huge step that you took, thank you for it: Japan's PM Yoshihide Suga pic.twitter.com/P4SmDUio3W— ANI (@ANI) September 24, 2021
"Quad is a very important initiative by the 4 nations that believe in fundamental rights & are of the view that Indo-Pacific should be free & open. Till date, Quad has given its absolute cooperation in big sectors, be it regional challenges or COVID-19," said Japan PM.