Jaishankar meets ministers, attends Quad, IBSA meetings on UNGA sidelines

United Nations: India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar attended meetings of the Quad and IBSA on the sidelines of the high-level General Assembly meeting.

Starting at the meeting’s fourth-day mark on Friday, he attended a ministerial meeting of the Quad, the group of India, the US, Japan and Australia, and of the IBSA, the India, Brazil and South Africa group.

He had bilateral meetings with Tariq Mahmood Ahmad, a minister of state in Britain’s Foreign Office, Foreign Ministers Penny Wong of Australia, Yoko Kamikawa of Japan and Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani of Bahrain.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was at the Quad meeting at which they reiterated their determination to fight terrorism and to work to keep the Indo-Pacific “free from intimidation and coercion”, while jointly working on development projects for the region.

Foreign Ministers Mauro Vieira of Brazil and Naledi Pandor of South Africa attended the IBSA meeting, which focused on tri-continental cooperation among the three countries.

Jaishankar posted on X that their joint statement “demonstrates the strength of our South-South solidarity”.

After the meeting with Ahmad, Jaishankar said in an X post that they discussed recent developments pertaining to Ukraine – where the two countries do not see eye to eye – and took stock of bilateral relations.

With Kamikawa, Jaishankar posted that they “exchanged perspectives on our Special Strategic and Global Partnership [and] discussed our regional, multilateral and global cooperation and taking them forward”.

He posted that he and Zayani had a good discussion “on connectivity, economic linkages and regional dynamics”.

In another X post, Jaishankar called the exchange of global and regional assessments with Wong “valuable”.

Wong said in her X post after the meeting, that they discussed regional security, and a range of bilateral issues including economic engagement”.

“Australia and India share an interest in a stable, secure region, and a world in which agreed rules are upheld and sovereignty is respected,” she said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi skipped the high-level meeting and Jaishankar is scheduled to speak for India at the General Assembly September 26.

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