Dec 18: Senior officials from the Ministry of External Affairs of India, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade of Australia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and Department of State of the United States of America interacted through a video conference on18 December 2020.
The meeting provided an opportunity to follow up on the last such official level discussions in September 2020, and the Ministerial Meeting of 6 October 2020 in Tokyo. The officials exchanged views on regional and global issues of common interest. They also reviewed ongoing and proposed practical cooperation in the areas of connectivity and infrastructure development, and security issues, including counter-terrorism, cyber security, maritime security, humanitarian and disaster relief, with the objective of promoting peace, security, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
In the context of the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, the officials underscored the importance of enhancing the resilience of supply chains for an expeditious and sustainable global economic recovery. They also highlighted the need to ensure safe, effective and affordable access to Covid-19 vaccines.
The officials reaffirmed their commitment towards a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region based on shared values and principles and respect for international law especially the UNCLOS.
They appreciated the Vietnamese chairmanship of the ASEAN and expressed satisfaction with the outcomes of the 15th East Asia Summit held in November this year. The officials reiterated their firm support for ASEAN-Centrality and ASEAN-led mechanisms particularly the leaders-led East Asia Summit, in the regional architecture for the Indo-Pacific, and their readiness to work with ASEAN and all other countries towards realizing a common and promising vision for the Indo-Pacific.