Jaishankar to attend Quad meeting in Australia on Feb 11
Indian external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (ANI Photo)
INDIAN external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar is set to participate in the fourth Quad foreign ministers’ meeting in Melbourne, Australia, on Friday (11) along with his counterparts from the host nation, Japan and the United States, the ministry said on Wednesday (9).
Jaishankar, who recently tested positive for Covid-19, will be visiting Australia between February 10 and 13 at the invitation of his Australian counterpart Marise Payne.
The ministry said in a release that this will be his first visit Down Under. It would also be the first high-level visit to Australia from India after opening its borders that were shut following the outbreak of the pandemic.
“It will be an opportunity for the ministers to follow up on their virtual meeting held in February 2021 and exchange views on regional strategic issues given their shared vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region,” the ministry said, adding, “The ministers will review ongoing Quad cooperation and build on the positive and constructive agenda announced by the Leaders at the two Summits in 2021, to address contemporary challenges such as the COVID pandemic, supply chains, critical technologies, climate change, infrastructure etc.”
Jaishankar and Payne will co-chair the 12th Foreign Ministers’ Framework Dialogue on Saturday (12). They will review the progress of the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and discuss bilateral, multilateral and regional issues of mutual interest.
The same day, the duo will also preside over the inaugural Foreign Ministers’ Cyber Framework Dialogue.
The Indian and Australian ministers will assess the progress made towards implementation of the India-Australia Framework Arrangement on Cyber and Cyber-Enabled Critical Technology Cooperation and the subsidiary Plan of Action which they signed in June 2020 on the sidelines of the Virtual Leaders’ Summit held between Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.
Jaishankar will also meet Australian political leaders, academics and businesses, as well as the Indian diaspora and students during his tour.
He would also be on a three-day bilateral visit to the Philippines starting Sunday (13). This will be his first visit to the Philippines as the external affairs minister and comes in the wake of New Delhi’s recent sale of BrahMos missiles to Manila.