External affairs minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday (May 24) discussed regional and global issues with his US and Japanese counterparts on the sidelines of the Quad summit in Tokyo.
Jaishankar, who is in Tokyo as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s delegation, met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and held talks with him on a number of important issues, including the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“Good to catch up with US Secretary of State@SecBlinken in Tokyo. Continued our conversation on the Ukraine conflict, its knock-on effects and important regional issues. Will work together to take forward the Quad understandings,” he said on Twitter.
Jaishankar also exchanged views on regional and global issues with his Japanese counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi. “Pleased to meet Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi on the sidelines of the Quad Summit. Exchanged views on regional and global issues. Will cooperate closely in this respect,” he said in a tweet.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Australia’s newly-elected Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Tuesday attended the second in-person Quad summit, which took place amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Also read: At Quad, Modi speaks of stability in Indo-Pacific; Biden calls out Russia’s action in Ukraine
The summit also took place at a time when the relations between China and the Quad member countries have become tense, with Beijing increasingly challenging democratic values and resorting to coercive trade practices.
India, the US and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China’s rising military manoeuvring in the region. China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam also have staked a claim over parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea.
In March last year, President Biden hosted the first-ever summit of the Quad leaders in the virtual format followed by an in-person summit in Washington in September. The Quad leaders also held a virtual meeting in March.
Australia will host the next Quad summit in 2023. In November 2017, India, Japan, the US and Australia gave shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the Quad to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence, amidst China’s growing military presence in the strategic region.