Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the maiden virtual summit of the quadrilateral economic forum comprising India, Israel, UAE and the US, described by Washington as ‘I2U2’.
During US president Joe Biden’s first trip to Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia, from July 13-16, Modi will participate in I2U2 virtual summit along with Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett, UAE president Mohamed bin Zayed, an US official said on Tuesday.
“The visit will also focus on Israel’s increasing integration into the region, both through Abraham Accords with UAE, Morocco, and Bahrain; through deepening ties between Israel, Jordan and Egypt; and also, an entirely new groupings of partners, including Israel, India, UAE, and the US, what we call I2U2. Importantly, some of these new partnerships reach beyond the Middle East, and in this regard, the President will hold a virtual summit with 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,” the official said, adding, “The President looks forward to this unique engagement with Prime Minister Bennett of Israel, with Prime Minister Modi of India, and President Mohammed bin Zayed of the UAE. ”
In 2021, the four nations decided to launch this new Quad. The creation of this Quad or Quartet is seen as one of the key dividends of the Abraham accords that saw the normalisation of ties between Israel and the UAE. In the meeting held in hybrid format last year the four foreign ministers explored possibilities for joint infrastructure projects in transportation, tech, maritime security, economics and trade, as well as for additional joint projects. The ministers decided to establish an international forum for economic cooperation to take forward their maiden dialogue.
Biden will begin his travel in Israel, where he will meet with Israeli leaders to discuss the country’s security, prosperity, and increasing integration into the greater region. He will also visit the West Bank to consult with the Palestinian Authority and to reiterate his strong support for a two-state solution, with equal measures of security, freedom, and opportunity for the Palestinian people, the official further added. The US President will then travel to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia at the invitation of Saudi King Salman, to attend a Summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council plus Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan (known as the GCC+3).