Navigation rights figure in first Quadrilateral talks

November 13, 2017 12:00 am | Updated 05:02 am IST - MANILA

PM lands in Manila to participate in ASEAN, East Asia summits

Talks over dinner:Prime Minister Narendra Modi with U.S. President Donald Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other leaders at a dinner in Manila on Sunday.PTI

Talks over dinner:Prime Minister Narendra Modi with U.S. President Donald Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other leaders at a dinner in Manila on Sunday.PTI

Beginning a new diplomatic initiative, India on Sunday participated in the first formal official-level discussions conducted here under the recently mooted regional coalition known as the ‘Quad’, the quadrilateral formation that includes Japan, India, the United States and Australia.

The quadrilateral talks were held even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan and U.S. President Donald Trump at a gala dinner thrown by President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines for the visiting leaders, who are here to participate in the 31st ASEAN and the 12th East Asia summits.

“The discussions focussed on cooperation based on their converging vision and values for promotion of peace, stability and prosperity in an increasingly inter-connected region that they share with each other and with other partners. They agreed that a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region serves the long-term interests of all countries in the region and of the world at large,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement on the quadrilateral.

“The officials also exchanged views on addressing common challenges of terrorism and proliferation linkages impacting the region as well as on enhancing connectivity,” the MEA statement said.

The Indian team consisted of the Joint Secretary in charge of the East Asia division in the MEA, Pranay Verma, and the Joint Secretary in charge of the South division in the MEA, Vinay Kumar.

Indicating the simmering regional tension with China and Beijing’s assertiveness over the South China Sea issue, a statement from the Australian Foreign Ministry informed that freedom of navigation figured at the ‘Quad.’ It said, “upholding the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific and respect for international law, freedom of navigation and overflight; increase(d) connectivity; challenges of countering terrorism and upholding maritime security in the Indo-Pacific” were also discussed.

Official sources emphasised that the quadrilateral was not aimed at any other country, and said India was also involved in other similar groupings in the region to deal with security and political issues.

The leaders of the quadrilateral countries, Mr. Abe, Mr. Modi and Mr. Trump attended the dinner dressed in the Barong Tagalog, the traditional Filipino shirt for men. The event was also attended by Premiers Li Keqiang of China and Dmitry Medvedev of Russia.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.