After US President Joe Biden suggested that one of the factors behind Hamas' 7 October attack on Israel may be connected to the recent announcement of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC), the White House issued a statement clarifying remarks, Live Mint reported.
White House National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson John Kirby said, “I think you misunderstood him. What he said was that he believed that the normalisation process and the agreement that we were trying to reach between Israel and Saudi Arabia for normalisation, which we believe is an important stepping stone to getting to a two-state solution, was what may have motivated Hamas to conduct those attacks."
During the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, several countries, including the USA, UAE, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy, and the European Union, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish the IMEEC. This corridor is expected to boost economic development by enhancing connectivity and economic integration between Asia, West Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.
Earlier, Biden stated during a joint press conference with Australian PM Anthony Albanese, "I'm convinced one of the reasons Hamas attacked when they did, and I have no proof of this, just my instinct tells me, is because of the progress we were making towards regional integration for Israel, and regional integration overall. We can't leave that work behind".
The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor consists of two separate corridors: the East corridor linking India to West Asia/Middle East and the Northern corridor connecting West Asia/Middle East to Europe.
It incorporates a rail line that, upon completion, will offer a reliable and cost-effective cross-border ship-to-rail transit network, improving the transshipment of goods and services between Southeast Asia, India, West Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.
President Biden has praised the corridor and its potential to generate investment opportunities across two continents. He views the rail port project as part of an effort to create a more sustainable and integrated Middle East.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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