Thu, 17 Jun 2021

By Reena BhardwajWashington [US], June 9 (ANI): The United States intends to hold a "very ambitious" Quad leaders meeting in Washington which will have all Quad leaders in attendance, said Kurt Campbell, President Joe Biden's policy coordinator for the Indo-Pacific region.

Speaking at an online event hosted by the Center for a New American Security think tank, Campbell said that the QUAD bloc of nations is focused on "deepening" its cooperation ahead of a potential in-person meeting of leaders later this year.

"...But our goal is to hold an in-person Quad meeting...very ambitious meeting here in Washington in the fall with all leaders in attendance. We will ensure that we've taken the necessary steps on the vaccine deliverable-- we intend to build on that," Campbell said.

Quad is a security alliance between India, the US, Japan and Australia.

Campbell in his remarks indicated that the Biden administration doesn't foresee a delay in the four-nation plan, which was announced at the White House in March at the Quad Virtual summit.

He also added that other countries had shown "interest" in the grouping and that involvement wasn't closed to others.

"Our discussions with both our partners in the private sector and also in government suggests that we are - knock on wood - still on track for 2022. I think we understand, the only way to be effective, to counter this, is through vaccine diplomacy. We're trying to step that up more generally," he said.

The United States, India, Japan, and Australia had agreed at the Quad summit in March that Indian drugmaker Biological E Ltd would produce at least a billion vaccine doses by the end of 2022 that would go to Southeast Asian countries, elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific, and beyond.

On June 4, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US Vice President Kamala Harris had in a telephonic conversation discussed the US' strategy for global vaccine sharing and Quad vaccine initiative to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

They highlighted the potential of the India-US partnership as well as the Quad vaccine initiative in addressing the long-term health impact of the pandemic.

India-US-Japan-Australia Quadrilateral initiative, or Quad, at its maiden summit in March 2021 had decided to build a first-of-its-kind joint vaccine supply chain to address the current and any future pandemic situations in the Indo-Pacific region. (ANI)

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