AUKUS different, won't impact QUAD: India
- Australia, UK and US announced a trilateral security pact which will be known as AUKUS
- India, Japan, US and Australia are members of the QUAD alliance
- India's Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said the two groups won't impact each other
AUKUS, a recently-announced trilateral security pact between the US, Australia and the UK, will not have a bearing on QUAD, an alliance focused on the Indo-Pacific region. Announcing the formation of AUKUS, US President Joe Biden alluded to the "rapidly evolving threats” from China and said his country and Britain would share, with Australia, intelligence and advanced technologies in key security areas. At a media briefing on Tuesday, India's Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said AUKUS and QUAD are not similar in nature.
"QUAD is designed to cater to requirements of the Indo-Pacifi, while AUKUS is a security alliance between three countries," he said. AUKUS isn't relevant to QUAD and will have no impact on its functioning, he added.
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in the Leaders' Summit of the Quadrilateral Framework being hosted by US President Joe Biden on September 24. The first in-person Quad summit is expected to focus on key global and regional issues.
The four leaders will discuss ways to strengthen ties and advance practical cooperation on rolling out the ‘Quad Vaccine’ initiative for COVID-19 pandemic, climate crisis and China's growing aggression in the Indo-Pacific region.
During the first summit of the QUAD leaders in the virtual format in March, the leaders had vowed to strive for a "free and open" Indo-Pacific as Beijing amplifies claims of the 1.3 million square mile South China Sea as being its sovereign territory.
Shringla said Modi will also hold in-person talks in Washington with Biden on ways to boost bilateral ties in trade, investment and defence and security.
The prime minister will be accompanied by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Shringla, among others.
The bilateral talks are also expected to focus on ways to deal with radicalisation and terrorism besides the developments in Afghanistan.