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Quad leaders pledge cooperation on COVID, climate and security: statement

President Biden holds a virtual meeting with Asia-Pacific Quad nation leaders at the White House in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The leaders of the United States, Australia, Japan and India pledged on Friday to work closely on COVID-19 vaccine distribution, climate issues and security, according to a joint statement by the group after a virtual meeting.

“We strive for a region that is free, open, inclusive, healthy, anchored by democratic  values, and unconstrained by coercion,” read the statement from the so-called “Quad” countries, a grouping seen as formed to counter China’s growing influence in Asia and beyond.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Franklin Paul)

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