Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the third Quadrilateral Security Dialogue summit in Japan next week to deliberate on the Asia-Pacific region and Russia-Ukraine crisis.
The summit, known as Quad, is an informal strategic setting between the US, Japan, Australia and India mainly to counter China’s influence in the Asia-Pacific region.
Mr Modi will travel to Tokyo to attend the fourth summit in person on May 24 after the last meeting was held virtually in March due to the pandemic.
“The forthcoming Quad summit provides an opportunity for the leaders to exchange views about developments in the Indo-Pacific region and contemporary global issues of mutual interest,” foreign ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said.
“The leaders will review progress of Quad initiatives and working groups, identify new areas of cooperation and provide strategic guidance and vision for future collaboration.”
The Indian prime minister will meet with his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida, and President Biden.
He will also probably hold bilateral talks with Mr Morrison, subject to his re-election to office as the nation holds its elections on Saturday.
The two countries are expected to review the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
Mr Modi will also participate in an event with Japanese business leaders and interact with the Indian community in Japan, Mr Bagchi said.
Modi adopting balanced stance on Russian invasion
The latest summit comes amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war that has seen a US-backed crippling financial sanctions on Moscow.
The US, Australia and Japan have explicitly criticised the Kremlin over the war, but India — Russia’s Cold War ally — has so far refused to condemn its military offensive.
India has adopted a balanced diplomatic stance on the crisis despite the West nudging it to snap ties with Russia.
New Delhi has enhanced its energy co-operation with Moscow in recent months and continues to have strategic and defence partnership with its largest arms supplier.
The leaders are expected to discuss the pandemic and review progress on the Quad Vaccine Initiative — a first-of-its-kind joint vaccine supply chain to address present and future pandemic situations in the Asia-Pacific region.
The project will see the US develop vaccines, with India manufacturing them, Japan financing and Australia supporting the logistics. The scheme is yet to take off.