The US, Australia, India and Japan on Friday condemned the recent missiles launches by North Korea and called them “violation” of UN Security Council resolutions.
A joint statement issued following a meeting of the foreign ministers of Quad, comprising the US, Australia, India and Japan, reaffirmed commitment for the complete denuclearization of North Korea.
Speaking to media ahead of the meeting, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar refused to replied to a question about the Ukraine crisis and said the meeting is focused on the Indo-Pacific region issues.
“This meeting is focused on the Indo-Pacific, so I think you should figure out the geography there. And where we stand, our position on Ukraine, we have laid it out in public at the UN Security Council,” he replied when a journalist asked about India’s position on the current Ukraine crisis.
Quad also expressed grave concern over the current situation in Myanmar and called for an immediate end to the violence in the country and release of all detainees including foreigners.
“We reaffirm our support for ASEAN efforts to seek a solution in Myanmar and call on the military regime to urgently implement ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus and swiftly return Myanmar to the path of democracy. We encourage the international community to work together to support an end to the violence,” the joint statement said.
About the pandemic, the statement said that Quad partners have collectively provided over 500 million vaccine doses to different countries and will donate a total over 1.3 billion globally under their pledged.
“We welcome progress on the practical cooperation we lead as Quad Foreign Ministers to address regional challenges, including humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR), maritime security, counter-terrorism, countering disinformation and cyber security,” it added.
On the South and East China Seas, the statement said the four nations “reiterated the importance of adherence to international law” to meet challenges to the maritime-rules-based order.
They also urged that Afghanistan’s soil should not be used against any country and called on all countries to ensure that their soil should not be used to launch attacks against any other state.
Quad said that they denounced the “use of terrorist proxies for cross-border terrorism” and condemned attacks in India, including 26/11 Mumbai and Pathankot attacks.
US tensions with Russia, China
Ahead of the meeting, US Secretary of States Antony Blinken also spoke on the ongoing tensions with China and said Beijing in recent years has been “acting more aggressively.”
“I think, again, the relationship for all of us with China is among the most consequential and most complex of any that we have. I’ll let my colleagues speak for themselves. But, again, what brings us together is very much about the future that we’re for, that we’re trying to build together,” he said.
Blinken said that his country prefers to resolve the ongoing Ukraine tensions with Russia through dialogue.
“We have been pursuing a dual-track approach to the challenge posed by Russia and the forces that it’s massed, unprovoked, along Ukraine’s borders. Diplomacy and dialogue – we would strongly prefer to resolve the differences that we have through diplomacy, through dialogue. That is the responsible way to do things” he said.
However, the top US diplomat also warned that if the Russia chooses the path of aggression, then it will face massive consequences.
“A number of countries have made this clear as well. All of the G7 countries came together, the world’s leading democratic economies, to make clear that massive consequences would follow from renewed aggression.”
That consequences would include economic, financial sanctions, export controls, he warned.
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