India driving force of Quad, says White House

Washington: India is a driving force of the Quad and an engine for regional growth, said the White House, days after foreign ministers of the countries, which are part of the grouping, met in Melbourne.

The Quad or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue comprises India, the US, Japan and Australia.

During the Melbourne summit, foreign ministers of the countries had discussed the destabilising role of China in the Indo-Pacific region and Russian aggression in Ukraine.

US Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar were part of the discussions.

We recognise that India is a like-minded partner and leader in South Asia and the Indian Ocean, active in and connected to the Southeast Asia, a driving force of the Quad, and an engine for regional growth and development, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters here.

It was an opportunity to discuss Russia’s ongoing threat to Ukraine. They discussed the threat that Russia’s aggression poses not only to Ukraine but to the entire international rules-based order, which has provided a foundation for decades of shared security and prosperity for the region and around the globe, she said about the Melbourne meeting.

Throughout his meetings with the Quad partners, Secretary Blinken discussed the challenges Russia poses to the rules-based on international order and our readiness to support our European allies, she said.

The US, she said, will continue to build a strategic partnership in which the US and India work together to promote stability in South Asia, collaborate in new domains such as health, space, cyberspace, deepen the economic and technology cooperation, and contribute to a free and open Indo-Pacific.

The White House refrained from responding to a question on the recent remarks by the Indian minister that India only abides by the multilateral sanctions and does not follow sanctions imposed by individual countries.

We are not going to get into specifics. We’ve been really clear about our discussions, so I’m not going into details beyond what we’ve read out from the Secretary’s meeting in Melbourne last week. But we’re working closely with a range of allies and partners, including India, Jean-Pierre said.

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