Covid-19, economic cooperation to be taken up by Quad leaders in 12 March Summit


NEW DELHI: The covid-19 pandemic, economic cooperation, and climate change, could be among the issues that US president Joe Biden will focus on during the first summit of the leaders of the Quad countries on Friday.

White House spokesperson Jen Psaki at a briefing overnight Wednesday said, “President Biden will meet virtually with his counterparts in the Quad: Prime Minister (Yoshihide) Suga of Japan, Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi of India, and Prime Minister (Scott) Morrison of Australia” on 12 March.

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The first “Leaders’ Summit of the Quadrilateral Framework” will be held virtually on 12th March, the Indian foreign ministry had said on Tuesday.

“That President Biden has made this one of his earliest multilateral engagements speaks to the importance we place on close cooperation with our allies and partners in the Indo- Pacific. A range of issues, of course, will be discussed — we expect to be discussed, I should say — facing the global community from the threat of COVID, to economic cooperation, and of course, to the climate crisis,” Psaki added.

According to a statement from the Indian foreign ministry in New Delhi the Quad summit “will discuss regional and global issues of shared interest, and exchange views on practical areas of cooperation towards maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.”

“The Summit will provide an opportunity to exchange views on contemporary challenges such as resilient supply chains, emerging and critical technologies, maritime security, and climate change,” the statement said.

The four leaders will also discuss efforts to combat covid-19 pandemic and “explore opportunities for collaboration in ensuring safe, equitable and affordable vaccines in the Indo-Pacific region,” it added.

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