A day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for the US to attend the first individual Quad leaders summit and to meet US President Joe Biden, India – Australia-UK-US (widely referred to as AUKUS) Known) in his first reaction to the deal. – said the two “are not groups of similar nature” and since India is not a party to AUKUS, it is neither relevant nor will it have any impact on the Quad.
This was stated by Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla in response to questions on the possible impact of AUKUS on the Quad. He tried to make it clear that while the AUX is a “security alliance”, the Quad is “a multilateral grouping of like-minded countries with a shared vision of characteristics and values”.
Last week, the US, Britain and Australia signed a new trilateral security alliance for the Indo-Pacific in an effort to counter China’s growing assertiveness in the region. The agreement, dubbed AUKUS, is expected to help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines to counter China’s growing power in the strategically important region. France, which lost out on a USD 65 billion submarine deal with Australia and was not informed about the AUKUS alliance, reacted angrily and called it a “stab in the back”.
Shringla’s remarks come at a time when France’s anger and disappointment over the Ocus deal have raised questions about the unity of “like-minded countries” over the Indo-Pacific strategy.
“The Quad and the AUCs are not groups of the same nature… The Quad is a multilateral grouping – a grouping of countries that share a common vision of their characteristics and values. They have India as a free, open, transparent, inclusive region. There is also a shared vision of the Pacific region. The Quad has adopted a positive, proactive agenda with a wide range and diverse array of initiatives globally to address some of the issues of the day. This includes the supply of vaccines to the Indo-Pacific region. including tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes working on issues such as new and emerging technologies, climate change, infrastructure, maritime security, education, humanitarian aid and disaster relief. The Quad has taken a number of initiatives, which are called Designed to meet the requirements of the Indo-Pacific region,” Shringla said.
“AUKUS, on the other hand, is a security alliance between three countries. We are not a party to this alliance. From our point of view, it is neither relevant to the Quad nor will it have any impact on its functioning,” he said.
Hours later, Modi spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron and “reviewed the growing bilateral cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and the important role of the Indo-French partnership in promoting stability and security in the region”, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said. MEA) said in the statement.
The French government statement said they reaffirmed their shared commitment to work jointly in an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, including Europe-India relations in the Indo-Pacific and the Framework for European Initiatives. “This approach aims to promote regional stability and the rule of law, while preventing hegemony of any kind”, with an oblique reference to Beijing.