The I2U2 formally kicked off at the summit level with PM Narendra Modi, Israel PM Yair Lapid, UAE’s President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and US President Joe Biden jointly announcing two major takeaways in food security and clean energy — a $2 billion investment by the UAE for developing integrated food parks in India and a 300 MW hybrid renewable energy project in Gujarat. While Biden and Lapid mentioned the Ukraine situation in their opening remarks, as the meeting focused on the food security crisis, Modi said the grouping was a good model for practical cooperation at this time of increasing global uncertainties. The PM described I2U2 grouping’s agenda and vision as progressive and positive.
The joint statement didn’t specifically refer to the Ukraine crisis either even as Biden said in his opening remarks that growing food insecurity and volatile energy markets had been made worse by Russia’s “brutal and unprovoked attack against its neighbour”. “Its effects on cost of living have been immediate and dramatic,” Lapid said.