Foreign Minister S Jaiashankar engaged with his counterparts from BRICS as well as USA-Japan-Australia in Quad format on Thursday in what was almost back to back meets

NEW DELHI: India has engaged in a fine balancing act engaging Quadrilateral or Quad states and BRICS members on the sidelines of UNGA in New York.

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar engaged with his counterparts from BRICS as well as USA-Japan-Australia in Quad format on Thursday in what was almost back to back meets.

Even as Jaishankar tweeted about Quad meet it appears that India wants to keep first Quad foreign minister meet low-profile in public domain amid Chinese sensitivities over this mechanism. The Quadrilateral, however, favours a free and open Indo-Pacific amid China’s aggressive postures in the region.

While a joint statement on BRICS Foreign Minister's meet was released, there was no such statement for Quad meet. The Ministry of External Affairs too did not comment on the meeting.

The US State Department, however, offered remarks on the Quadrilateral meet;

“...had another important multilateral session, a meeting with the Quad partners – the U.S., Australia, India, and Japan. This grouping has met four times in the past two years at the senior officials level, at my level, but today’s event, which was hosted by Secretary Pompeo with his counterparts, was a significant elevation of the level of our dialogue and really demonstrates the leadership of all four countries in institutionalising this gathering of like-minded Indo-Pacific partners.

In the ministerial – and I know you heard some from Assistant Secretary Stilwell – we had a wide-ranging discussion of our collective efforts to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific, but also touching on counter terrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, maritime security cooperation, development finance, and cyber security. I would say that the U.S. and Indian joint participation in the Quad also demonstrates the strength of the U.S.-India relationship and our shared commitment to, again, advancing a values-based policy towards the region,” Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells told media in New York.

Meanwhile, the BRICS Ministers in their joint statement expressed their concern over continued conflicts in several regions around the globe, which undermine international security and stability.

The BRICS Ministers urged all States to refrain from promulgating and applying any economic, financial or trade measures not in accordance with the rules of the WTO, international law and the Charter of the United Nations that impede the full achievement of economic and social development, particularly in developing countries.

The five Foreign Ministers also expressed their conviction that a comprehensive approach is necessary to ensure an effective fight against terrorism.