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International Relations

India on Thursday joined Australia, Japan and the United States for a ministerial meeting under the quadrilateral grouping where key issues, including Myanmar, came up for discussion.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said the military takeover in Myanmar featured in the talks and participants reiterated democratic values for the region.

India also emphasised in its statement that the meeting expressed commitment to “upholding rules-based international order” and “peaceful resolution of disputes”.

“Our positive agenda underlines our shared commitment to global good. [We] discussed contemporary challenges, especially impact of COVID-19 and exchanged views on issues across the Indo-Pacific,” Mr. Jaishankar said.

The leaders referred to the military crackdown in Myanmar, with the U.S. highlighting “the urgent need to restore the democratically elected government in Burma, and the priority of strengthening democratic resilience in the broader region”. Significantly, the U.S. statement referred to Myanmar as Burma, the name that Naypyitaw had stopped using since 1989 after a brutal crackdown against the democratic movement. “In the discussion pertaining to developments in Myanmar, the upholding of rule of law and the democratic transition was reiterated by India,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.

The meeting was held in the backdrop of the ongoing withdrawal of Chinese forces from positions along the Line of Actual Control but the months-long military tension did not find mention in the read outs.

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