Wednesday, November 29, 2023

US Secretary of State Blinken arrives for Quad Foreign Ministers meet

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On the sidelines of the Raisina Dialogue, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived at Taj Palace on Friday to attend the Quad Foreign Ministers meeting.

Today, from 9:10-9:50 a.m., Quad Foreign Ministers will participate in a panel discussion titled “The Quad Squad: Power and Purpose of the Polygon,” which will be moderated by Samir Saran, President of the Observer Research Foundation (ORF). External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will preside over the meeting, which will include Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The meeting will allow the Ministers to continue their discussions from their previous meeting in New York in September 2022, according to the MEA press release. They will discuss recent Indo-Pacific developments and regional issues of mutual interest, guided by their vision of a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific.

The Ministers will also review the Quad’s progress in pursuing its constructive agenda and implementing initiatives aimed at addressing contemporary regional priorities, according to the release. The Quad conjures up images of a security alliance, a development alliance, and even a consultative committee. After one and a half years since the first Leaders’ Summit, the Quad is forced to choose between focusing on its core identity and pursuing the benefits of a more amorphous and reactive grouping.

How will the Quad remain relevant as nations shift their focus to growth and the reconfiguration of their global economic partnerships? How does the resurgence of land warfare in Europe affect the future of an Indo-Pacific maritime alliance? will be the subject of the panel discussion.

The United States has signed an ambitious technology partnership with Australia and the United Kingdom, is a member of the I2U2 focused on West Asia, has a new bilateral technology agreement with India, and has a close tech alliance with Japan.

The panel will also address how these overlapping agreements and partnerships fit into the Quad’s technology agenda. What path can it take between a tight, action-focused coalition and a relatively modest ambition that could more easily include other Indo-Pacific actors?

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