New York, Feb. 18 -- External Affairs S. Jaishankar is to participate on Thursday in a virtual ministerial meeting of the Quad, according to the State Department.

The discussions between Jaishankar, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Foreign Ministers Marise Payne of Australia and Toshimitsu Motegi Japan "is critical to advancing our shared goals of free and open Indo-Pacific and rising to the defining challenges of our time", State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said on Wednesday.

He said that "coordinating our efforts like Covid-19 response, as well as climate change", will also figure in their discussions, he said.

This meeting and another scheduled to Thursday between Blinken, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Fr...