As Prime Minister Modi visits US, Foreign Secy Says AUKUS Will Not Impact Quad
ONE DAY before Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for the US to attend the first in-person Quad Leaders Summit and meet US President Joe Biden, India – in his first reaction to the Australia-UK-States deal -United (widely referred to as AUKUS) – said the two are “not groupings of a similar nature” and as India is not a party to AUKUS, this is neither relevant nor will it impact on the Quad.
This was explained by Foreign Minister Harsh Vardhan Shringla, while answering questions about the possible impact of the UKUS on the Quad. He sought to clarify that while AUKUS is a “security alliance”, Quad is a “plurilateral grouping of like-minded countries that have a common vision of their attributes and values”.
Last week, the US, UK and Australia signed a new trilateral Indo-Pacific security alliance in a bid to counter China’s growing assertiveness in the region. The pact, called AUKUS, is expected to help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines in a bid to counter China’s growing power in this strategically vital region. France, which lost $ 65 billion in a submarine contract with Australia and had not been informed of the AUKUS alliance, reacted angrily and called it “a stab in the eye. back”.
Shringla’s comments come at a time when France’s anger and disappointment at the AUKUS agreement raised questions about unity among “like-minded countries” on the Indo-Pacific strategy.
“Quad and UKUS are not groupings of a similar nature… Quad is a plurilateral grouping – a group of countries that have a common vision of their attributes and values. They also have a common vision of the Indo-Pacific region as a free, open, transparent and inclusive region. The Quad has adopted a positive and proactive agenda with a wide range and diverse range of initiatives globally to address some of the issues of the day. This includes the management of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the provision of vaccines to the Indo-Pacific region. This includes work on new and emerging technologies, issues such as climate change, infrastructure, maritime safety, education, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The Quad has undertaken a wide range of initiatives designed to meet the needs of the Indo-Pacific region, ”said Shringla.
“On the other hand, AUKUS is a security alliance between three countries. We are not part of this alliance. From our point of view, this is neither relevant for the Quad, nor will it have any impact on its function, ”he said.
Hours later, Modi met with French President Emmanuel Macron and “reviewed the growing bilateral collaboration in the Indo-Pacific region and the important role the India-France partnership plays in promoting stability and security in the region, “according to the Foreign Ministry. (MEA) said the statement.
The French government’s statement said it reaffirmed their common commitment to act jointly in an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific, including within the framework of the Europe-India relationship and European initiatives in the Indo-Pacific. “This approach aims to promote regional stability and the rule of law, while excluding any form of hegemony,” he said, with indirect reference to Beijing.
The two leaders also discussed regional issues, including recent developments in Afghanistan. In this context, the MEA statement said they “shared their concerns about the possible spread of terrorism, narcotics, illicit weapons and human trafficking, as well as the need to guarantee human rights. man, the rights of women and minorities “.
The French statement said the two leaders expressed “serious concerns” about the situation in Afghanistan. “The authorities in power must sever their links with international terrorism, allow humanitarian organizations to operate throughout the country and respect the human rights of Afghan women and men. Evacuation operations should continue unhindered, ”he said.
Shringla, in his briefing, said the Afghan issue was also on the agenda of the Quad and bilateral meetings, along with terrorism. This will be the first meeting since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan in mid-August.
He said the meeting will discuss the “current regional security situation following recent developments in Afghanistan”, considering India’s challenges as a “long-standing and privileged neighbor and development partner of the Afghan people”. In this context, he said, “we will undoubtedly discuss the need to stem radicalism, extremism, cross-border terrorism and the dismantling of global terrorist networks”.
He also said that United Nations Security Council Resolution 2593, which was adopted under the Indian presidency on August 30, states that the territory of Afghanistan will not be used against any other country and that “non-state actors “As well as” countries “must comply. . These are thinly veiled references to Pakistan and anti-Indian terrorist groups including the Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and Jaish-e-Mohammed, among others.
Modi, who is leaving for the United States tomorrow, will attend a summit hosted by Biden on Covid-19 on Wednesday. This will be their first in-person meeting since Biden took office in January this year, although they have spoken three times since November and attended virtual summits three times.
At their September 23 meeting, Shringla said, the two leaders will review the “robust and multifaceted” bilateral relationship between India and the United States. “They will also discuss how the comprehensive global strategic partnership between our two countries can be further enriched. The two leaders are expected to discuss how to strengthen bilateral trade and investment ties, strengthen defense and security collaboration, boost strategic clean energy partnership, explore new avenues in emerging technologies, in particular through R&D, innovation and industrial links. They will also discuss the reform of the multilateral system, including the UN Security Council.
In addition to attending the Quad Summit on September 24, hosted by Biden and attended by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and outgoing Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the Prime Minister will also have bilateral meetings with the three leaders.
He will also meet with Vice President Kamala Harris, his first formal interaction with the Indian-born First Vice President of the US administration, and they are expected to exchange views on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual concern. , said Shringla. Harris had called Modi in June this year for the supply of Covid-19 vaccines. Modi will also meet with CEOs of companies while in the United States.
Modi will then travel to New York for the UN General Assembly address and hold bilateral meetings with a few leaders on the sidelines on September 25.
Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and NSA Ajit Doval are also traveling to the United States and will accompany Modi to many of these meetings. Jaishankar is currently in New York and has met his counterparts from France, Australia, UK, Norway and Iraq, among others.
Modi’s visit is expected to pave the way for further engagements in the coming months, including the India-US 2 + 2 talks later this year.