New Delhi, May 21
The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) under the Quad ambit is still under discussion, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said here on Saturday.
The Foreign Secretary was indirectly rebutting claims by US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan that US President Joe Biden would also launch a new and ambitious economic initiative for the region, the IPEF, which will be a 21st-century economic arrangement, designed to tackle new economic challenges.
Kwatra also played down reports that the Quad was planning to expand to include more countries such as South Korea. “To our understanding, I don’t think there is any conversation going on over further expansion of Quad,” he said at a press conference.
The Foreign Secretary said PM Narendra Modi would visit Japan between May 23 and 25 to attend the Quad Leaders’ Summit as well as hold bilateral talks with US President Joe Biden and Japan PM Fumio Kishida. PM Modi will also meet the new Australian leader.
On Ukraine, he said, “Our position on Ukraine is amply clear and has been reiterated many times. Right from the time when hostilities began, we asked for an immediate cessation of hostilities and dialogue remains the best policy to move forward in this regard.” “Indo Pacific has challenges and opportunities. When Quad leaders speak, both challenges and opportunities are talked about. The primary focus of Quad is Indo Pacific,” he said.
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