No plans to add new members to Quad grouping now: White House

Washington: There is no plan to add new members to the Quad now, the White House has said, emphasising that the relatively young grouping welcomes opportunities to work with a wide range of Indo-Pacific partner countries on issues like maritime security, infrastructure and climate change.

The Quad or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue comprises India, the US, Japan and Australia.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and US President Joe Biden – are scheduled to meet in Sydney, Australia for the third in-person summit on May 24, amidst China’s aggressive behaviour in the strategically important region.

“However, the Quad welcomes opportunities to work with a wide range of Indo-Pacific partners, such as through its Indo-Pacific partners on maritime domain awareness, which is delivering cutting edge maritime domain awareness technology around the region,” she added.

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue is the grouping of four democracies–India, Australia, the US, and Japan–that aims to ensure and support a “free, open and prosperous” Indo-Pacific region.

Earlier, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced that it will host the Quad Leaders’ Summit on May 24 in Sydney reiterating that it will be a chance to work in cooperation with US, Japan and India.

Talking about the same, Pierre said, “The May 24th Sydney Summit will showcase other opportunities for the Quad to partner around the region on climate, global health, infrastructure, and more. The Quad’s top priority is ensuring it is well-positioned to deliver for the Indo-Pacific, currently. And so, there’s no conversation on extending or expanding at this time.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be travelling to Australia in May to take part in the Quad leadership summit.

The announcement was made during the joint press conference hosted by Prime Minister Modi along with Australian counterpart in March when the latter was on a four-day visit to India.

“India and Australia are both members of the Quad. I thank PM Albanese for inviting me to Australia for the Quad Leaders’ Summit in May. I have invited him to India for the G20 summit in September,” PM Modi had said.

The leaders of the Quad group have met on four occasions earlier and their next meeting will be held in Australia. The group’s importance in the region has increased due to its keen interest in sustainable and inclusive economic growth and increasing people-to-people connections between Quad members and non-Quad members.

Prime Minister Modi, on several occasions, has highlighted that the Quad is a force of global good and is aimed at developing the region while protecting the interests of all members of the Indo-Pacific region.