Tuesday, September 27, 2022

US sees India’s role in Quad as of ‘very high priority’: US official

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Highlighting the importance of ties between the US and India, a senior American official said that Washington sees New Delhi’s role in Quad as of “very high priority” as it has a “very significant element including the much-enhanced ability to speak frankly about issues in the region.”

“With regard to India, I think we are very explicitly highlighting the importance of, what the last four administrations have all played a very important role in advancing, which is the much greater US engagement, much improved US relations with and much closer US partnership with India,” the US administration official said in a statement.

The official added: “India’s role in the Quad, is a very significant element of that, including the much-enhanced ability to speak frankly about issues in the region, to work together to deliver, essentially, public goods that address, challenges in the region, and to enhance ways in which we can coordinate. So we see this (India) as a very, very high priority.”

Asserting that India is in a very different place, in many ways than Australia and other countries, the senior official said that New Delhi faces very significant challenges. “I think that China’s behavior in the line of actual control has had a galvanizing impact on India,”

The official also said that from our standpoint, “we see tremendous opportunities in working with another democracy, with a country that has a maritime tradition that understands the importance of the global commons to advance critical issues in the region.”

The US administration official noted there is the tremendous appreciation of the importance and the challenges of engage — of strengthening the engagement with India and recognition that New Delhi is a critical strategic partner, and a desire to continue building on the very good work of previous administrations to significantly broaden and deepen that relationship.

Meanwhile, during bilateral talks with US State Secretary Antony Blinken on the sidelines of Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar said that the changing India-US relationship has been a very defining development in this century. “Quad, we have progressed a lot and much of that is due to the fact that we’ve all devoted a lot of time, energy, attention to that. We have made it into concrete actionable propositions our teams have worked on…A big part of that is because we’ve strong bilateral relationships,” Jaishankar said.

“Certainly, for us, in this century the changing India-US relationship has really been a very defining development. So, I welcome the chance today to sit with you and look at our relationship and see how we can continue to take it forward in its positive trajectory, ” he added.

It was the first meeting of Quad Foreign Ministers since the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) Summit was held in the United States last year. The meeting was attended by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, Japan Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa and the United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

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