Tillerson to push for four-nation dialogue in Delhi

Tillerson to push for four-nation dialogue in Delhi

The United States is pushing for a four-nation mechanism with India, Japan and Australia for security cooperation on the Indo-Pacific — a move which is likely to irk China.

The proposal for a quadrilateral security dialogue and a mechanism for cooperation in Indo-Pacific is likely to be discussed next week, when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will host the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, in New Delhi, sources told DH.

Sources added that New Delhi was not in principle opposed to the proposal for an India-US-Japan-Australia quadrilateral dialogue and security cooperation mechanism for Indo-Pacific region, but may seek more discussion to set the modalities.

Ahead of his visit to New Delhi, Tillerson on Wednesday sought greater cooperation between India and the US for a free and open Indo-Pacific and to counter the hegemonic aspirations of China.

He accused China of undermining the rule-based international order.

“We ought to welcome those who want to strengthen the rule of law and further prosperity and security in the region. In particular, our starting point should continue to be greater engagement and cooperation with Indo-Pacific democracies,” Tillerson said in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC.

“We are already capturing the benefits of our important trilateral engagement between the US, India and Japan. As we look ahead, there is room to invite others, including Australia, to build on the shared objectives and initiatives,” he said.

His speech, titled “Defining our relationship with India for the next century” and responses to the questions from the audiences were put up on the website of the US State Department.

He accused Beijing of taking “provocative actions” in South China Sea.

India on Friday welcomed the statement of American Secretary of State and said that it shared with the US the commitment to a rule-based international order.

“He (Tillerson) brought out its various strengths and highlighted our shared commitment to a rule-based international order, “ Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the MEA, said.

Sushma, Tillerson and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono last month held the second India-US-Japan trilateral dialogue on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

DH News Service


Swaraj, Tillerson and Japanese Foreign Minister, Taro Kono, last month held the second India, US-Japan trilateral dialogue on the sideline of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. They discussed the “importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific region underpinned by a resilient, rules-based architecture that enables every nation to prosper”.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Shinsuke Sugiyama, and Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia, Frances Adamson, held the third India-Japan-Australia trilateral dialogue in Canberra earlier this year with focus on cooperation among the three nations in Indo-Pacific.

Since 2015, Japan's Maritime Self Defence Force has been participating in Malabar Naval Exercise, which was earlier a bilateral war drill by Indian and American navies.

The last Malabar Exercise by the navies of India, US and Japan was held in Bay of Bengal in July this year. Australia is also keen to participate in the naval war-drill. The navies of US, Japan and Australia last month held a trilateral submarine drill off the southern coast of Japan.

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