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world | IST

QUAD a group of like-minded democracies, not military alliance: Anthony Blinken

In an exclusive conversation with CNN-News18’s Zakka Jacob, Blinken said, “That QUAD is not a military alliance. It is a group of like-minded democracies. India, the United States, Japan, Australia, coming together to work cooperatively on issues and matters that are going to affect the lives of citizens and all of our countries and indeed, in the Indo Pacific as a whole and beneath that is the conviction that the Indo Pacific needs to remain a free and open region.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Indo-U.S. ties "one of the most important in the world" as he met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, NSA Ajit Doval on July 28, the first day of his two-day visit to India.
Blinken also spoke to civil society leaders.
He said fundamental freedom and the rule of law were the tenets of democracies like the US and India.
In an exclusive conversation with CNN-News18’s Zakka Jacob, Blinken said, “That QUAD is not a military alliance. It is a group of like-minded democracies. India, the United States, Japan, Australia, coming together to work cooperatively on issues and matters that are going to affect the lives of citizens and all of our countries and indeed, in the Indo Pacific as a whole and beneath that is the conviction that the Indo Pacific needs to remain a free and open region.”
Blinken said the QUAD group is working together on COVID-19 and making sure that it can provide more vaccines to the world. The group is also working on addressing climate change, and issues ranging from maritime security to infrastructure projects, he added.
“So most of the challenges that we face in the world that affect the lives of our citizens, cannot be resolved by any one country acting alone and so it is a natural normal thing for like-minded democracies to come together and work on these things to get together,” US Secretary of State said.
Commenting on Chinese criticism for QUAD, he said, “I don't think that being able to finance, produce and distribute tens of millions, hundreds of millions of more vaccines, is targeting China except in the most positive way. It is trying to help the region and help the world get over COVID-19 and virtually all of the work that we are doing together is to in one way or another, improve the lives of people in the region and make sure that it remains free and open.”
Blinken hailed India’s assistance to the US early in the pandemic and said that the country would never forget how India provided ventilators when their hospitals were at risk of being overwhelmed.
“In turn, when India had its second wave, we have tried to step up and be of assistance as friends do for one another. I am very proud of the fact that we have contributed over the course of COVID, about a quarter of a billion dollars in assistance to India, our private sector, and individuals have come together and provided hundreds of millions of dollars as well,” he said.
Blinken added that the US also made available several millions of vaccines doses. “With any country, there's an approval process and a regulatory process and a legal process required for receiving vaccines and that is where things stand,” he added.
For the full interview, watch the accompanying video...