US Prez to hold talks virtually with Quad leaders on March 12, discuss wide-ranging issues

at 11:03 am
Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden

New Delhi (NVI): In the first-ever Quad leaders’ summit-level meeting, US President Joe Biden will virtually hold talks with leaders from India, Australia, and Japan and will discuss a variety of global issues ranging from COVID-19 challenge, economic crisis, and climate change.

While addressing the daily news conference, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “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, 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,” she said.

US President Joe Biden will meet leaders from other Quad countries – Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan and Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia – via video-conferencing on March 12.

Formed in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami and formalized in 2007, the Quad has met regularly at the working and foreign minister level. However, Friday will be the first time that the Quad is meeting at the leader level.

The Press Secretary further said that the meeting “is an opportunity to engage at an even higher level than it has been done in the past with key partners to the United States. Japan, Australia and India are key partners to the United States”.

At a separate news conference, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that the summit will showcase the Quad’s ability to pool capabilities and build habits of cooperation to address some of those urgent challenges they face.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be participating, along with Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga, and President of the US Joseph R. Biden, in the first leaders’ summit of the Quadrilateral Framework, being held virtually on March 12, 2021,” a statement issued by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

At the last meeting of the Quad in October, the four nations had re-affirmed the importance of maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of the border dispute with China and the southeast Asian giant’s aggressive military behaviour in the Indo-Pacific and the South China Sea.