modi: India resists US pressure to expand Quad remit, while discussing developments in Ukraine | India News

WASHINGTON: US efforts to enlist New Delhi in its global campaign against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine met with limited success on Thursday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi implicitly rejecting the use of Quad for the purpose.
Following an emergency virtual meeting of Quad members, President Biden tweeted that he met with Quad leaders Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Prime Minister Kishida Fumio “about Russia’s ongoing attack on Ukraine and our commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity around the world, including in the Indo-Pacific.”
The cryptic tweet did not address the outcome of the meeting. A readout of the call from the White House said “the Quad leaders discussed the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and assessed its broader implication,” without any specific condemnation of Moscow.
The White House statement said leaders convened “to reaffirm their commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, in which the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states is respected and countries are free from military, economic, and political coercion,” again with no reference to Ukraine. They reaffirmed their dedication to the Quad as a mechanism to promote regional stability and prosperity, it added.
India’s external affairs ministry however emphasized the Indo-Pacific centric nature of Quad, saying Modi “underlined that the Quad must remain focused on its core objective of promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.”
“Developments in Ukraine were discussed in the meeting, including its humanitarian implications,” the MEA statement acknowledged, adding that Modi emphasised the need to return to a path of dialogue and diplomacy, without directly condemning Russia, as Washington has pressed India too.
“The leaders also discussed other topical issues, including the situation in Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean region and the Pacific Islands. Prime Minister reiterated the importance of adhering to the UN Charter, international law and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the statement added.
While reference to adhering to the UN Charter, international law, and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity is seen as an implicit criticism of Russia, widely seen as the aggressor in Ukraine, it fell well short of US expectations.
India has been excoriated in the US in recent days, with administration officials and US lawmakers suggesting it should stop sitting on the fence and come out in support of majority global opinion that sees Russia as the aggressor.

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