Leaders of Australia, India, Japan gather for meeting with Biden

Washington, Sept. 24, (dpa/GNA) - The leaders of Australia, India and Japan are set to visit the White House on Friday to stress the importance of US involvement in the Indo-Pacific region and its work with the four-way alliance known as the Quad.

The White House said it will be the first in-person meeting of the leaders of these four countries in this format, though US President Joe Biden did host an online meeting of the same group earlier in the year.

The meeting is part of a push by the US government to renew and strengthen international alliances. This particular group of countries began working together after the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, though the four leaders only got together for a meeting under the auspices of the Quad in March.

Back then, the four men said one of their main priorities would be to boost India's capacity to produce coronavirus vaccines.

A senior US official said the Covid-19 pandemic would continue to be a major topic on Friday and that concrete announcements on the subject should be expected.

He also said to expect statements on the climate. A series of bilateral talks between the four leaders are also expected.

Biden has been clear since taking office that he wants to make the Indo-Pacific region a US priority, to counterbalance the spread of Chinese strength in the region.