US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti has described India as being in the "driver's seat" of the Quad grouping, suggesting New Delhi will play a pivotal role in shaping the future vision and agenda of the four-nation diplomatic platform.
Speaking at the Jaipur Literature Festival on Saturday, Garcetti used an auto analogy to depict the dynamics within the Quad, which includes Japan, and Australia apart from India and the United States. While India is steering the Quad vehicle, the US sits in the front passenger seat ready to offer some "corrective steering" whenever required, the envoy remarked.
Garcetti credited late Japanese PM Shinzo Abe for his original vision in launching the Quad over 15 years back. He said the group has evolved from its early phase and is no longer just a "talk shop."
The envoy cited ongoing Quad collaborations in areas like semiconductors, AI, and space technologies as examples of tangible cooperation. However, he noted that the countries won't always fully align their foreign policy stances.
Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, another panelist, urged observers to focus on the Quad's progress since its revival in 2017, rather than fixating on its evolution into a formal strategic alliance. He described the Quad as a coalition of nations with shared values, albeit with divergent aspirations.
Former Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull, also part of the panel discussion, said the “Quad has made remarkable progress since 2007 even if member states have some variations in strategic outlooks and end goals.”
But the common thread that binds them together remains a shared commitment to democratic values and a rules-based international order, Turnbull emphasized.
The 2024 Jaipur Literature Festival, renowned as the largest literary gathering globally, will continue to host leading intellectuals, authors, and speakers until February 5th.