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Stage set for crucial Quad meeting as PM Modi reaches Hiroshima

Mutual cooperation at the Quad level is giving a boost to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region (File images courtesy: PIB)

The third in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit will take place on Saturday on the sidelines of the ongoing Group of Seven (G7) deliberations in Japan’s Hiroshima.

The meeting was originally scheduled to take place at Australia’s most recognisable building Sydney Opera House on May 24 but had to be rearranged after US President Joe Biden decided to head back home from Japan due to the domestic debt ceiling crisis.

The four leaders – Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia, Japanese PM Fumio Kishida and US President Biden – will now go into a huddle in Hiroshima to mark the Quad’s progress over the past year.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Friday that Biden thanked Albanese, as well as the Prime Ministers of Japan and India, for their flexibility, as he looked forward to rescheduling his trip.

“Along with sharing strategic assessments, the leaders will welcome new forms of Quad cooperation on secure digital technology, submarine cables, infrastructure capacity building, and maritime domain awareness,” the White House spokesperson said in a statement.

Quad leaders

The Quad is a diplomatic partnership of four countries committed to promoting stability, resilience and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific. India, Australia, Japan and the United States share a vision for a region that is governed by accepted rules and norms, where all can cooperate, trade and thrive.

Together, Quad partners are taking practical action to address shared regional challenges, including improving regional health security, advancing critical and emerging technologies, strengthening connectivity, enhancing clean energy innovation and boosting supply chain resilience.

This year, Quad partners are playing a strong leadership role in the Indo-Pacific through hosting the G20 (India), G7 (Japan), and APEC (US).

The extensive interactions between the top leaders will continue as India will host the G20 Leaders’ Summit in September.

“When the four leaders meet in Hiroshima, they would naturally take a stock, good assessment of what has been the current status of engagement among the Quad countries and then also build further on that. A lot of preparation has gone on for this Quad meeting. There are several deliverables which we are expecting to come out of it,” said Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra ahead of PM’s Hiroshima visit.

Quad Leaders are also expected to discuss how the grouping can work alongside partners and regional groupings, including the ASEAN and the Pacific Islands Forum, to strengthen cooperation and shape the future of the Indo-Pacific region.

India has been spotlighting the importance of delivering on Quad’s positive and constructive agenda and show tangible benefits for the region.

“In such a short time, Quad has assumed an important place on the world stage. Today the scope of Quad has become broader and the format has become effective. Our mutual cooperation at the Quad level is giving a boost to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, which is the common objective of all of us,” said PM Modi in his opening remarks at the last year’s Quad summit in Tokyo.