The first ever in-person meeting of the Quad (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue), set for September 24, has set tongues wagging across the world. For these Quad nations to move from a virtual summit into the offline realm within the space of six months is a major leap of faith. Before this, the foreign ministers of the Quad nations had met in Tokyo in October last year.
A virtual meeting of the heads of government of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States was held in March this year. Since then, there have been many rapid developments across the world. Most notably, the fall of the elected government in Afghanistan, the takeover by the Taliban and the United States’ hasty withdrawal from that country has led to a lot of upheaval in Afghanistan and beyond. The Taliban have already termed China as their most valuable partner and opened channels of communication with Beijing.
All these four countries have common interests in the Indo-Pacific region. The recent signing of the AUKUS pact between the U.S., U.K., and Australia makes it clear that new alliances are being worked in the region. The United States still remains a potent force even after the pullout from Afghanistan. The in-person Quad summit shows that U.S. involvement in the Indo-Pacific region seems to be growing in many ways. This augurs well for the region.