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US says looking at Quad meeting in fall focused on infrastructure

Officials say other nations welcome to the in-person meeting

U.S. President Joe Biden held a virtual meeting with Quad nation leaders at the White House in March.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The United States is looking to convene an in-person meeting of its partners the Quad group of countries - Australia, India and Japan - in the fall with a focus on infrastructure, President Joe Biden's policy coordinator for the Indo-Pacific said on Wednesday.

Kurt Campbell said other countries would be welcome to work with the Quad, which held a first virtual leaders' summit in March and pledged to work closely on COVID-19 vaccine distribution, climate issues and security.

"I think we want to look this fall to convene an in-person Quad and the hope will be to make a similar kind of engagement on infrastructure more generally," Campbell told an online event hosted by Stanford University's Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center.

"And I do want to underscore ... this is not a fancy club. If there are other countries that believe that they'd like to engage and work with us, the door will be open as we go forward," Campbell said.

The March Quad summit was carefully choreographed to counter China's growing influence and Biden and his fellow leaders pledged to work to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific in the face of challenges from Beijing.

At that meeting, the leaders agreed an in-person summit would be held later in the year.

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