Indo-Pacific is expected to dominate the third ministerial meeting (virtual) of the foreign ministers of Quad countries—India, Australia, Japan and the U.S.—later today. The ministers will exchange views on regional and global issues especially practical areas of cooperation towards maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, India’s External Affairs ministry said, without an express mention of ‘Quad’. Understandable and practical, as India is the only country in the informal grouping that shares a border with China.
Australia didn’t hold back though. “The Quad is a key pillar of Australia’s international agenda and complements our other bilateral, regional and multilateral engagement, including with ASEAN. Quad partners are strong supporters of ASEAN centrality within a region in which all countries are sovereign, independent and resilient,” said the department of foreign affairs and trade.
This will be the first Quad meeting after the Biden administration took charge in Washington, DC. “This discussion with Quad Foreign Ministers is critical to advancing our shared goals of a free and open Indo-Pacific and rising to the defining challenges of our time,” the State Department said.
During a telephonic conversation a week ago, the foreign ministers of Japan and the U.S. shared the view to steadily strengthen cooperation between Japan, the U.S., Australia, and India.
The last time the Quad foreign ministers met face to face was in October last year in Tokyo.