By Shuriah Niazi
NEW DELHI (AA) - The Quad foreign ministers on Friday reaffirmed its commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific that is "inclusive and resilient," and stated that it strongly supports the principles of rule of law, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and peaceful dispute resolution.
In a joint statement issued after their meeting in the Indian capital of New Delhi, the foreign ministers of the four-nation Quad, which includes the US, Japan, Australia, and India, said they strongly support the principles of freedom, rule of law, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
The meeting was presided over by India's External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, and Australia's Penny Wong.
They have also announced the formation of the Quad Working Group on Counter-Terrorism, which will explore cooperation among the bloc and with Indo-Pacific partners to combat new and emerging forms of terrorism, radicalization to violence, and violent extremism.
According to the statement, the group's first meeting will be held later this year in the US.
“We continued to discuss our responses to the conflict in Ukraine and the immense human suffering it is causing, and concurred that the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible,” the statement said, adding that there is a need for a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in Ukraine in accordance with international law, including the UN Charter.
“We emphasised that the rules-based international order must respect sovereignty, territorial integrity, transparency and peaceful resolution of disputes,” it stated.
While expressing concern over the deteriorating situation in Myanmar, the statement said the group strongly emphasized the importance of maintaining peace, stability, and prosperity.
“In this regard, we emphasise the need for (a) complete cessation of violence, the release of all those arbitrarily detained, resolution of issues through dialogue, unhindered humanitarian access and transition to an inclusive, federal democratic system in Myanmar,” it said.
The group will also be guided by the priorities of the Indo-Pacific region through its positive and constructive agenda, according to the statement.
“We seek to support the region through practical cooperation on contemporary challenges such as health security, climate change and the clean energy transition, critical and emerging technologies, infrastructure and connectivity, addressing the debt crisis through sustainable, transparent and fair lending and financing practices, space cooperation, cyber-security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), maritime security and counter-terrorism,” it added.