“Prime Minister Modi… it’s great to see you,” this is how US President Joe Biden greeted PM Narendra Modi as he welcomed him to speak at the first summit of the Quad or Quadrilateral coalition on Friday.
It was the first time PM Modi and President Biden came face-to-face at a public event after the American leader took charge in Washington in January.
“A free and open Indo-Pacific is essential to each of our futures,” Biden said in his opening remarks.
“The Quad is going to be a vital arena for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. And I look forward to working closely with — with all of you in the coming years,” he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “It is good to be among friends. I thank President Biden for this initiative. We are united by our democratic values and our commitment to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. Our agenda today covers areas like vaccines, climate change and emerging technologies make the Quad a force for global good.”
“I see this positive vision as an extension of India’s ancient philosophy of Vasudeiva Kutumbakam which regards the world as one family. We will work together, closer than ever before for advancing our shared values and promoting a secure, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” he said.
“Today’s summit meeting shows that Quad has come of age. It will now remain an important pillar of stability in the region,” he added.
Besides PM Modi and President Biden, the virtual summit of the Quad was attended by Australian PM Scott Morrison and Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga.
The leaders of the “Quad” group of nations – a regional alliance seen as part of efforts to balance China’s growing military and economic power – discussed “free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region” as well as the coronavirus pandemic.
The four Quad member countries have been resolving to uphold a rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific amid growing Chinese assertiveness in the region.