WASHINGTON, March 13 (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Ministers Scott Morrison, Narendra Modi of India and Yoshihide Suka of Japan have pledged to deliver a billion doses of vaccine against Southeast Asia by the end of next year.
The four leaders announced the end of their first virtual meeting within the framework of a four-pronged defense dialogue (“quad”) aimed at countering China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
Opening the debate, Joe Biden ruled that it was “necessary” for this part of the world to be free and open.
“The United States is committed to working with you, our partners and all our allies in the region to ensure stability,” he said.
U.S. National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan says key issues for the region have been resolved, such as freedom to navigate the South and East China Sea, the North Korean nuclear issue, and the violent suppression of protests in Burma.
While not the focus of most of the discussions, the challenges that China represents were also raised.
“We renew our commitment to ensure that our region is governed by international law, committed to safeguarding global values and free from all compulsions,” Joe Biden told his mediators anonymously.
In a joint statement, the four leaders pledged to work closely together on the three files of anti-cow vaccination, global warming and protection. (David Bronstrom, Michael Martina, Jeff Mason and Toina Siaku; French edition by Jean-Stefan Bros., Mark Angrand)