Leaders of “the Quad” will meet Saturday on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima, the White House said Friday, just days after U.S. President Joe Biden postponed a visit to Australia for a full-scale summit of the security grouping due to ongoing debt limit talks in Washington.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement Quad leaders had agreed “that they would hold their summit in Hiroshima to ensure that the four leaders could come together to mark the Quad’s progress over the past year.”
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Indian leader Narendra Modi, who have both been invited to attend the G7 summit as guests, will join Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Biden for the third in-person Quad leaders’ meeting, Jean-Pierre said.
“Along with sharing strategic assessments, the leaders will welcome new forms of Quad cooperation on secure digital technology, submarine cables, infrastructure capacity building, and maritime domain awareness,” Jean-Pierre said, adding that Biden had thanked his fellow Quad leaders “for their flexibility,” and “looks forward to rescheduling his trip.”
Earlier this week, Biden scrapped his planned trip to Sydney as well as a historic visit to Papua New Guinea. The decision — which prompted Albanese to cancel the scheduled Quad summit — was seen as a self-inflicted blow to hopes of a more visible U.S. presence in the Indo-Pacific amid its competition with China in the region.
The White House said Thursday that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken would travel to Papua New Guinea in place of Biden to sign two security agreements, on defense cooperation and maritime surveillance, with the Pacific island nation in a bid to shore up support among countries in the region for countering Beijing, which has been extending its clout in the area.