Sat, 02 Jul 2022

New Delhi [India], May 21 (ANI): India on Saturday reiterated its call for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Ukraine stating that the path of "diplomacy and dialogue" was the best policy to resolve the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Briefing reporters on Prime Minister's visit to Japan, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said: "Our position on Ukraine is amply clear and has been reiterated many times. Right from the time when hostilities began in February, we asked for an immediate cessation of hostilities and the path of diplomacy and dialogue remains the best policy to move forward in this regard."Playing down reports that the Quad was planning to expand to include more countries the foreign secretary said: "Right now I don't think there is any conversation going on over further expansion of it."The foreign secretary said that Quad is a grouping of countries, sharing core values of democracy, pluralism and market economy, and Quad's corporations, are shaped principally by the goals of promoting peace and stability and prosperity in Indo Pacific.

In this perspective, you would find a shared commitment to rule-based order and a free, open and inclusive Indo Pacific, he said.

"Quad partnership seeks to structure a constructive agenda broad elements -- fight against COVID-19 pandemic, its mitigation, efforts, how do we partner in the countries in region post covid recovery, and building the health security infrastructure going forward, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and working together to respond against the need of climate action," the foreign secretary said.

"There is a need to build a resilient supply chain in Indo Pacific -- partnering of infrastructure corporation, that avoids burdening the countries with unsustainable debt," he said.

He added that Indo-Pacific has challenges and opportunities. "When Quad leaders speak, both challenges and opportunities are talked about," he said.

During his official visit on May 23-24 to participate in the Quad Summit, at the invitation of the Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, PM Modi will hold bilateral meetings with the United States President Joe Biden, and Prime Ministers of Japan and Australia on the sideline of the summit. PM Modi's bilateral meeting with US President Biden is slated for May 24.

Meaanwhile, on India banning wheat exports, the foreign secretary said: "We are extremely clear about the principles and needs of food security in India which are paramount for us. Yet, at the same time, we are careful in ensuring the needs of economies, vulnerable to risks of food security, wherever possible are met." (ANI)

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