New Delhi [India], March 11 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with leaders of the US, Japan and Australia will participate in the first Leaders' Summit of the Quadrilateral Framework, being held virtually on Friday and exchange views on practical areas of cooperation towards maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
The summit will provide an opportunity to exchange views on contemporary challenges such as resilient supply chains, emerging and critical technologies, maritime security, and climate change.
PM Modi, United States President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison would also discuss regional and global issues of shared interest.
They will also discuss ongoing efforts to combat COVID-19 pandemic and explore opportunities for collaboration in ensuring safe, equitable and affordable vaccines in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Quad leaders are expected to confirm their intentions to reduce their dependence on China-produced rare earths, Nikkei Asia reported.
According to the report, China currently produces nearly 60 per cent of the world's rare earths, and its market power has posed supply concerns. The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue nations intend to counter this by cooperating in funding new production technologies and development projects.
Ahead of the Quad summit, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga had a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday. The conversation lasted for forty minutes.
The two leaders shared the recognition that cooperation towards realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific is becoming increasingly important and to this end, shared the view to steadily advance both Japan-India bilateral cooperation and Japan-Australia-India-US quadrilateral cooperation, according to a press release of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Japan.
The US President had also spoken to PM Narendra Modi in February in which the White House said the leaders would work toward "a stronger regional architecture through the Quad."
Last month, the foreign ministers of the four countries held a virtual meeting, in which they agreed to work towards a "free and open Indo-Pacific" region while strongly opposing any attempts by Beijing to alter the status quo in the East and South China seas by force.
The Quad has met regularly at the working and foreign ministers level and a meeting at the leaders level will be held for the first time on Friday. (ANI)