Path of Dialogue and Diplomacy must, PM Modi tells Quad leaders

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has yet again strongly pitched for ‘territorial integrity, respect for sovereignty’ at the global stage and told the Quad leaders categorically dialogue and diplomacy are must resolve any international challenge.

The Quad leaders PM Modi, US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida “discussed the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and assessed its broader implications.”

“They also agreed to set up 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 communication as they each address and respond to the crisis in Ukraine,” a joint readout said.

Participating in the virtual meet of Quad top leaders on Thursday, the Prime Minister reiterated the importance of adhering to the UN Charter.

The joint Quad readout said the leaders met to “reaffirm their commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, in which the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states are respected, and countries are free from military, economic, and political coercion.”

PM Modi participated in the virtual summit of Quad leaders, along with the US President and Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia and Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida.

“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,” a PMO statement said.

“We cannot allow what is happening in Ukraine now to ever happen in the Indo-Pacific,” Australian PM Morrison said. 

At the meeting, Prime Minister Modi underlined 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 humanitarian and disaster relief, debt sustainability, supply chains, clean energy, connectivity, and capacity-building. 

“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,” the statement said.

The leaders also discussed other topical issues, including the situation in Southeast Asia, 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.

The leaders agreed to stay in touch and work towards an ambitious agenda for the forthcoming Leaders Summit in Japan.

“We have agreed that unilateral changes to the status quo with force like this should not be allowed in the Indo-Pacific region,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said, referring to Russia’s invasion.

“We have also agreed that this development makes it even more important to work toward realising a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Kishida told reporters after the meeting.

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