U.S. President Joe Biden will host a first in-person summit of leaders of the “Quad” countries – Australia, India, Japan and the United States – which have been seeking to enhance cooperation to push back against China’s growing assertiveness.
The summit will be held at the White House in Washington on Sept. 24, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. The U.S. visits of the prime ministers of Australia, India and Japan – Scott Morrison, Narendra Modi and Yoshihide Suga – will coincide with the United Nations General Assembly in New York, which Biden will address on Sept. 21.
A virtual meeting of the Quad leaders was held in March and they pledged to work closely on COVID-19 vaccines and climate and to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific in the face of challenges from Beijing.
Prime minister Modi is also scheduled to address the ‘General Debate’ of the high-level segment of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 25 in New York, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced on Tuesday.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be participating, along with Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan and President Joseph R Biden of USA, in the Leaders’ Summit of the Quadrilateral Framework in Washington DC, USA, on September 24,” the MEA said in a statement.
It said the leaders will review progress made since their first virtual summit on March 12 and discuss regional issues of shared interest.
“As part of their ongoing efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, they will review the Quad Vaccine initiative which was announced in March this year,” the MEA said.
It said the leaders will also exchange views on contemporary global issues such as critical and emerging technologies, connectivity and infrastructure, cyber security, maritime security, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, climate change and education.
“The summit would provide a valuable opportunity for dialogue and interactions among the Leaders, anchored in their shared vision of ensuring a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region,” the MEA said.