New Delhi: The 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue between India and the US reviewed mutual efforts to respond to the ‘worsening humanitarian crisis’ in Ukraine and assessed its broader implications.
At the Dialogue attended by EAM Dr S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, along with their counterparts Antony Blinken and Lloyd Austin, they urged an immediate cessation of hostilities.
“The Ministers unequivocally condemned civilian deaths. They underscored that the contemporary global order has been built on the UN Charter, respect for international law, and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states,” a Joint Statement said.
Recalling the inaugural virtual Quad Leaders’ Summit in March 2021, the in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit in September 2021 in Washington, the February 2022 Quad Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Melbourne, and looking forward to the next Quad Leaders’ Summit in Tokyo in 2022, the Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to “a free and open Indo-Pacific” in which the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states are respected, and countries are free from military, economic, and political coercion.
“They further reaffirmed their dedication to promoting regional stability and prosperity, with an inclusive regional architecture, abiding by the rule of law, the freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, and ASEAN centrality,” it added.
They also reiterated the importance of adherence to international law to meet challenges to the rules-based order, including in the South China Sea.
The Ministers welcomed the progress made in the last year on developing a positive and constructive agenda for the Quad to deliver peace and prosperity to the region in pursuance of their shared vision.
The Ministers said steps would be taken to empower the Quad “as a force for global good” for the Indo-Pacific region and welcomed ongoing discussions in the Quad Working Groups on vaccines, climate change, infrastructure, space and cyber security.
Meanwhile, US Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that US Deputy National Security Advisor Daleep Singh’s comment in New Delhi last week was not any “warning” to India.
“I wouldn’t characterise it as a warning nor did we at the time,” she said.
“He (Singh) went and had a constructive conversation and made clear that while it’s the decision of each individual country, including India, to determine whether they’re going to import Russian oil,” Ms Psaki said.
The Ukraine conflict and India’s stand on importing Russian oil figured in the virtual talk between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden as well.