Washington DC [US], September 25 (ANI): Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga during his opening remarks at the Quad summit expressed the importance of the first in-person Quad meeting and said that the meeting reflects strong ties among four nations, emphasising that Indo-Pacific should be open and free.
Suga's remarks came on Friday when four major democracies in the world are meeting in Washington at the invitation of US President Joe Biden.
"Quad is a very important initiative by the 4 nations that believe in fundamental rights and are of the view that Indo-Pacific should be free and open. Till date, Quad has given its absolute cooperation in big sectors, be it regional challenges or COVID-19," Suga said.
"Good to see you here (Leaders), this is the first in-person meeting between us and the meeting reflects strong ties among four of the nations, Quad is an important step towards open and free Indo-Pacific trade," Suga added.
This is the much-anticipated first in-person meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (or Quad, of India, the United States, Australia and Japan) that was held in Washington.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is participating in the Quad leaders meeting along with leaders of the US, Japan, and Australia in Washington. US President Joe Biden is hosting all the leaders at the White House.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said that four nations of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue came together in the interest of humanity when the world is battling with COVID-19, adding that the Quad vaccine initiative will help Indo-Pacific nations.
Earlier today, PM Modi and US President Biden held their first bilateral meeting since the latter assumed office and discussed bilateral relations including trade, COVID-19, climate challenges, and stability in the Indo-Pacific.
PM Modi, who met Biden at the White House, said in his opening remarks that the bilateral summit was important and seeds have been sown for an even stronger friendship between India and the US.
Prime Minister Modi arrived in Washington on Wednesday for his much-touted US visit. PM Modi is accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, and senior officials. (ANI)