The Quadrilateral Strategic Dialogue, popularly known as ‘Quad’, was held in the United States with first ever ministerial level meeting making it more significant than ever. Started in 2007, the Quad is an informal association of India, US, Japan and Australia working together on issues like counter terrorism, maritime security and regional connectivity.
For the first time since its inception, the Quad held a meeting at the level of ministers from the member states which has by far seen only Joint Secretaries holding informal dialogue. After a brief halt in their journey as Australia pulled out amid tensions between US-China, the group decided to engage once again as the leaders met in 2017 during the ASEAN Summit.
Following the meeting in New York, where the members discussed trade and security, the United States supported India's 'global status' and reiterated the importance of India-US relations for peace and stability in the region. Alice Wells, acting assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs highlighted the Trump administration priority with regards to India. She said, “Deepening relationship with India is Trump administration’s top priority” and today US-India relationship is “completely different” from what it has been in that past. She also “welcomed and supported India's status as a global power and its role in the Indo-Pacific region explaining why the agenda that US has with India is “quite broad”. With Prime Minister Modi calling Donald Trump 'his friend and friend of India' and Trump reciprocating with assurance of being India's ally, the ambassador also talked about the equation between the two leaders. “Rapport between President Trump and Prime Minister Modi is same behind the doors as seen on the stage’, said the ambassador.
On being asked whether US would send its own investigating team to Kashmir, the ambassador while ruled out any such action saying that it was not the United States' job to “investigate”, also took a swipe at Pakistan. Launching a veiled attack, she questioned their double standards with regards to the conditions of Muslims in other countries she said the following. “I do have to say that I would like to hear the same intensity of concern with the respect to the one million, I mean, Muslims in China who are literally being held in concentration-like camp conditions where there are well-documented reports of rape, of abuse, of deaths, and I am disappointed that we haven’t seen the intensity of response from countries that are committed to the full rights of Muslims being upheld.” The next meeting between the high level officials of the Quad is scheduled to take place in Bangkok in November this year.