NEW DELHI: Ahead of PM Narendra Modi’s Japan visit for the QUAD Leaders’ Summit, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra on Saturday ruled out any possibility of expansion of the bloc.
Quad is a group of India, Australia, Japan, and the United States.
Speaking to reporters here, the foreign secretary said the summit in Tokyo will have “economic dimension” with a focus on the Indo-Pacific.
A rule based Free and Open Indo-Pacific is one of the major concerns of the QUAD summit, Kwatra said.
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He also disclosed that the Quad will host a World Health Assembly, but did not disclose the date. “It is in the preliminary stage and no tentative date or time has been set yet,” he added.
On being asked if the Sri Lanka’s economic crisis would be discussed in the meeting, the foreign secretary said: “When the countries of Quad meet, the leaders would raise Indo-Pacific.”
“The leaders would definitely address opportunities and challenges in the Indo-Pacific region. Quad is a reflection of democracy, pluralism and market economy,” he asserted.
On the Russia-Ukraine war, he reiterated that dialogue and diplomacy are the only way out, renewing the demand of a ceasefire between the two countries.
On the issue of India restricting export of wheat, Kwatra said that ensuring food security for its citizen is the first priority of New Delhi. “The need for food security is paramount. India will first ensure domestic supply of food grains like wheat then consider the needs of other vulnerable countries,” he said.
Besides participating in the summit with his counterparts from the US, Australia, and host Japan in Tokyo on May 24, Prime Minister Modi is also slated to hold one-to-one meeting with President Joe Biden, PM Scott Morrison, and PM Fumio Kishida.