First I2U2 Virtual Summit In July; Food Security, Economic Cooperation On Agenda
US President Joe Biden is scheduled to hold a virtual summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The virtual summit will take place during Biden's visit to Middle East next month, which is slated from 13 to 16 July.
According to reports, the new grouping will be called I2U2, “I” for India and Israel and “U” for the US and UAE.
According to the White House, this meeting is a part of Biden Administration's effort to revitalise American alliances across the world. Discussions will be held on food security crisis and other areas of cooperation.
“India is a massive consumer market. It is a massive producer of high-tech and highly sought-after goods as well. So, there are a number of areas where these countries can work together, whether its technology, trade, climate, COVID-19, and potentially even security as well,” said the State Department spokesperson, Ned Price.
“Part of our approach from the start is not only to revitalise and re-energise our system of alliances and partnerships around the world, but also to stitch together partnerships that did not exist previously or were not utilised to their full extent,” he added.
Foreign ministers of the four countries met back in October during External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's visit to Israel. The grouping was called 'International Forum for Economic Cooperation' at that time.
“The visit will also focus on Israel’s increasing integration into the region, both through the Abraham Accords with UAE, Morocco and Bahrain; through deepening ties between Israel, Jordan and Egypt; and also an entirely new grouping of partners including Israel, India, UAE and the United States — what we call I2U2," said an US official whilst briefing the press about Biden's visit to Israel.
“We consider these initiatives central to our strategy of empowering partners and encouraging them to work more closely together, which will lead to a more stable region and also to Israel’s security and prosperity over the longer term. Secretary Blinken, just last month in the Negev in southern Israel, met with counterparts from Abraham Accord partners UAE, Bahrain and Morocco, together with Jordan and Egypt, highlighting these deepening regional partnerships,” the official stated.
“Importantly, some of these new partnerships reach beyond the Middle East, and in this regard, the President will hold a virtual summit with the I2U2 heads of state for discussions of the food security crisis and other areas of cooperation across hemispheres where UAE and Israel serve as important innovation hubs,” he continued.
“The President looks forward to this unique engagement with Prime Minister Bennett of Israel, Prime Minister Modi of India and President Mohammed bin Zayed of the UAE,” he added.
The India-Israel-US-UAE grouping met for the first time under a new framework in October 2021. During this meeting, issues ranging from maritime security, infrastructure, digital infrastructure to transport were discussed.
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