New Delhi open to India-Japan-US-Australia quadrilateral

New Delhi open to India-Japan-US-Australia quadrilateral”

Asked about the quadrilateral proposal, ministry of external affairs spokesman Raveesh Kumar 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".

Highlighting an already productive tri-lateral partnership between U.S., India, and Japan, Wells said Australia would be a natural partner in that effort as well, and Washington is looking at a working-level quadrilateral meeting in the near term. "We are not rigid in this regard", Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, told journalists on Friday. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and his Japanese and Australian counterparts held the third India-Japan-Australia trilateral dialogue in Canberra earlier this year. "To maintain free and open ocean, the economy and security will surely be on the table", he had said, adding that the aim was to also promote high-quality infrastructure investment across Asia to Africa. Responding to questions, Wells refuted reports that such a move is aimed at containing China. If the plan between the four nations materialises, it will help India to neutralise China's bid to establish economic dominance in the region through its OROB project.

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.

In his briefing on Friday, Kumar said that because of India's broad acceptability as a country, there were a number of such initiatives which were trilateral in nature. Beijing has been accused of exploiting countries such as Pakistan and Sri Lanka with grandiose plans that even sections of intelligentsia in those countries deem to be exploitative in sharp contrast to India's work in Afghanistan that has won universal acclaim. For example, we did the trilateral meeting with Russian Federation and China on the topic of Asia-Pacific past year.

Japan is mulling to take India, Australia and the United States onboard for its plans on building a project like China's "One Belt One Road" initiative.

Ahead of Tillerson's visit on October 24, discussions on the quadrilateral group - India, US, Japan and Australia - had picked up in preparatory meetings between the two sides, as reported by The Indian Express on October 21.

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