NEW DELHI: Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong on Friday lauded India as a "critical, great power" and said the country's civilisation prowess brought a fresh perspective on dealing with current issues.
Wong participated in the Quad Foreign Ministers' meeting presided by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on the sidelines of Raisina Dialogue 2023 held in the national capital Delhi.
Japanese foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken were the other participants who attended the meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) grouping.
"India is a critical power, great power in the region that there is no reshaping of the Indo-Pacific without India. We've seen that India is a civilisational power that brings a different perspective to some of the challenges of these time," said Wong while replying to President of Observer Research Foundation (ORF) Samir Saran on Australia's assessment of India's growth.
Saran moderated the discussion on "The Quad Squad: Power and Purpose of the Polygon." Wong also explained how Quad can be a complimentary actor in Indo-Pacific. "The complementarity of this configuration with the architecture of the region, I think is demonstrated from the Australian perspective by our geography and by our interest," said the Australian FM.
Wong said that in terms of geography, Australia is the smallest economy, most southernmost economy, abounded on one side by the Indian Ocean, the other side by the Pacific, ASEAN, and particularly the northern countries of ASEAN.
"So for us, our interest lies in a world which is being reshaped, the region which is being reshaped -- looking through this and the architecture of the region which I describe stable, peaceful, secure and respect the sovereignty. So our geography and our interest lead to a complementarity.
I also believe there is tangible complementarity in the sense that there are things we engage -- Pacific Islands nations, and countries of the ASEAN region and they are all aligned with our interest in economic involvement, prosperity, stability and protection of sovereignty," said Wong.
Jaishankar, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, and Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong attended the Raisina Dialogue 2023 in Delhi organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and the ORF. Earlier Blinken recognized that the Indo-Pacific region will shape the trajectory of the world in the 21st century.
"Good to break bread with my Quad colleagues in New Delhi today. Together, we recognize the Indo-Pacific region will shape the trajectory of the world in the 21st century and are committed to safeguarding its peace, stability, and growing prosperity," tweeted Blinken ahead of the Quad meeting.
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