Economy

India not rigid, open to dialogue

India not rigid, open to dialogue”

"We are not rigid in this regard", External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said when asked about Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono's remarks to the Nikkei Business Daily that Japan would propose a dialogue with the US, India and Australia. We are not rigid this regard. Friday's statement is the first official confirmation on the proposed quadrilateral meeting, which was held in 2006 but did not happen again.

All countries profit from free and open seas, including China with its New Silk Road initiative, he said.

"The quadrilateral the Japanese foreign minister discussed would be building on a very productive trilateral we have with India and Japan", she said.

The Hindustan Times had reported that the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was in India recently, had suggested Sushma Swaraj that India and the US must build roads and ports across South Asia to Asia-Pacific to country China's OROB. Upon his return to Washington, Tillerson referred to the US, India, Japan and Australia as the four anchors of the Indo-Pacific region.

The country is also part of India-Afghanistan-Iran trilateral and is looking to hold the India-US-Afghanistan meeting, he said, adding that all these meetings are conducted at various levels.

However, the comment indicated that such regional partnerships will have to suit Indian interests and said, "As far as we are concerned, we have an open mind to cooperate with countries with convergence but obviously on an agenda which is relevant to us". The Japanese move is believed to be aimed at countering China's aggressive maritime expansion under its Belt and Road Initiative.

The quadrilateral proposal came a day after U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson proposed an alternate to China's One Belt, On Road project in partnership with India during his visit to Delhi. "We are interested in working with nations whose broad goals are aligned with us".

The US Secretary of State mooted the idea of the four-nation dialogue just ahead of his recent visit to India. It said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would officially propose the dialogue partnership to U.S. President Donald Trump on November 6, when the U.S. leader visits Japan as part of an Asian tour that will also take him to China.



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