Quad has evolved swiftly, very effectively: Australian foreign minister Marise Payne

The Quad has evolved “swiftly” and very “effectively” and Australia commends India for taking a strong leadership role in the region, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said on Friday. In an address at the Observer Research Foundation, Payne talked about “significant challenges” facing the Indo-Pacific and Australia seeks a region where rights of large and small countries are respected and no “single dominant power” dictates outcome for others.

Her comments are seen as an oblique reference to China.

“We commend India for taking a strong leadership role in the region,” she said.

Payne and Defence Minister Dutton arrived here on Friday on a three-day visit primarily to take part in the inaugural two-plus-two ministerial dialogue between the two countries.

“Since India’s independence, generations of Australians have admired the bold nation-building project began by Gandhi, Nehru, Patel and Ambedkar and continued by their successors up to Prime Minister Modi,” she said.

It is certainly an exciting time to witness the continuous rise of a new India, a country that is both confident, modern, aspirational, vibrant, tech-savvy and a leading Indo-pacific power, she said.

In her address, the Australian foreign minister mentioned the “indispensable role” that the Australians of Indian descent, Indian migrants and Indian students have been playing in modern Australia.

She said Australia and India particularly share a common vision for an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific, a region in which states cooperate and resolve differences based on international rules and norms.

In that context, she said the Quad, comprising Indian, the US, Australia and Japan, has evolved “swiftly” and very “effectively” over the past two years.

One of the key objectives of the Quad is to work for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.

“It is thoroughly a contemporary grouping,” she said.

Payne also announced that Australia will contribute USD 10 mullion for the India-led coalition for disaster-resilient infrastructure and USD one million for International Solar Alliance.

Referring to key challenges facing the world, the Australian foreign minister mentioned transnational crime, the persistent threat of terrorism, cyber and critical technology challenges and threats from dangerous disinformation as areas of concern.

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