Friday, October 22, 2021

INFORM.INSPIRE.UPSKILL

INFORM.INSPIRE.UPSKILL

Friday, October 22, 2021

QUAD TO DEEPEN COUNTER-TERRORISM IN AFGHANISTAN

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The Quad Leaders Summit, which met in person for the first time, announced a wide range of deliverables, from COVID-19 vaccine commitments to launching a new infrastructure partnership. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, and Australian and Japanese Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Yoshihide Suga also announced new joint positions in the region, such as diplomatic coordination in Afghanistan.

Quad leaders stated in a joint statement that they would closely coordinate their “diplomatic, economic, and human rights policies” toward Afghanistan, as well as deepen their counter-terrorism and humanitarian cooperation there, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2593. (a resolution passed on August 30, when India held the presidency of the Council). The resolution calls for a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan and states that the country should not be used as a recruiting ground for terrorism.

‘Terrorist proxies’
In the White House’s East Room, the four leaders and their delegations met. The meeting was just over two hours long. On Friday, both Mr. Morrison and Mr. Suga met with the press. In terms of new positions, the Quad has stated its support for the European Union’s Indo Pacific Strategy, which was released in September 2021. The announcement earlier this month of an Indo-Pacific security partnership between the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom (‘AUKUS’) sparked outrage in France, a key EU member.

According to Reuters, Mr. Suga applauded the announcement on AUKUS during the Quad meeting.In the White House’s East Room, the four leaders and their delegations met. The meeting was just over two hours long. On Friday, both Mr. Morrison and Mr. Suga met with the press. In terms of new positions, the Quad has stated its support for the European Union’s Indo Pacific Strategy, which was released in September 2021. The announcement earlier this month of an Indo-Pacific security partnership between the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom (‘AUKUS’) sparked outrage in France, a key EU member. According to Reuters, Mr. Suga applauded the announcement on AUKUS during the Quad meeting.

Vaccine supply
In terms of vaccines, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla announced that India would begin supplying Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccines by the end of October, with 8 million doses available from (Telangana-based) pharmaceutical company Biological E Ltd. According to the joint statement, the Quad also “welcomed” India’s resumption of vaccine exports. In addition to pledging more than 1.2 billion vaccines globally, the group plans to produce at least 1 billion vaccines manufactured in India by the end of 2022. (the U.S. accounts for about 1.1 billion of these). In 2022, the group will also prepare for future pandemics, holding at least one tabletop or exercise.

The Quad also announced the formation of a new infrastructure partnership, which will map the region’s infrastructure needs and provide technical assistance and project evaluation tools. This, according to the statement, would work with the Blue Dot Network, a private sector-led infrastructure effort in the region led by the United States, Australia, and Japan to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Cooperation on ‘transparent 5G and beyond-5G networks,’ cyberspace, and space are among the other initiatives.

The countries declared that they stood for the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, democratic values, and state territorial integrity without mentioning China, with whom all four Quad members have had territorial or economic disputes.

-Yukta Gulia

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