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Quad Foreign Ministers Reiterate Strong Commitment to Combating Terrorism and Ensuring Regional Security

22-09-2023 : The foreign ministers of the Quad nations, comprising the United States, India, Japan, and Australia, reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. This includes addressing the issues of cross-border movement of terrorists, countering terror financing networks, and eliminating safe havens for terrorists. The Quad nations made this declaration during their official joint statement issued on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

The Quad Foreign Ministers’ meeting brought together External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, and Japanese Foreign Minister Yōko Kamikawa. In their collective statement, they emphasized the importance of adopting a comprehensive and balanced approach to effectively curb terrorist activities. This approach encompasses the efforts of both individual nations and the international community as a whole.

Addressing concerns related to the use of forceful coercion in territorial disputes, the Quad leaders underscored their commitment to resolving international issues peacefully and in accordance with international law. They specifically referenced challenges in the “South and East China Seas,” a subtle reference to China’s assertive actions in these regions.

The joint statement highlighted the principles that underpin the development and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific, including respect for international law, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the maintenance of peace and security in the maritime domain. It emphasized the importance of peaceful dispute resolution in compliance with international law, without resorting to threats or the use of force.

Furthermore, the Quad nations stressed the significance of adhering to international law, particularly as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to address challenges to the global maritime rules-based order. This pertained to maritime claims and the situation in the South and East China Seas.

In a separate development, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made his first in-person appearance at the UNGA since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Zelenskyy accused Moscow of being the aggressor and perpetrating “genocide” in Ukraine. He highlighted that Ukrainian children residing in Russia were being taught to harbor hatred towards their homeland and connections between Ukrainian nationals and their families in Ukraine were being severed.

Zelenskyy also launched a scathing attack on Russia’s possession of nuclear weapons, asserting that “terrorists have no right to hold nuclear weapons.” He called on the international community to consider stripping Moscow of its veto power at the UN Security Council, further emphasizing the urgency of addressing the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.