Aiming at encouraging joint investments and modernizing infrastructure, leaders of India, Israel, US, and UAE will meet virtually for the first I2U2 Summit on July 14. The meeting holds significance in the wake of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, which has led to significant rise in crude oil and inflation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with his Israeli counterpart, Yair Lapid, UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and US President Joe Biden will meet virtually. The summit is being held during Biden’s travel to Israel from July 13-16, with stopovers in West Bank and Saudi Arabia.
In the Thursday’s summit, the ministry said the leaders will discuss the “possible joint projects within the framework of I2U2 as well as the other common areas of mutual interest to strengthen the economic partnership in trade and investment in our respective regions and beyond. These projects can serve as a model for economic cooperation and offer opportunities for our businesspersons and workers.”
Each country also has Sherpa-level interactions regularly to discuss the possible areas of cooperation.
The I2U2 group is “aimed to encourage joint investments in six mutually identified areas such as water, energy, transportation, space, health, and food security,” the external affairs ministry said. It intends to mobilise “private sector capital and expertise to help modernise the infrastructure, low carbon development pathways for our industries, improve public health, and promote the development of critical emerging and green technologies.”,
Sharing details of the visit, a senior US administration official had earlier said: “The summit called I2U2 will discuss the food security crisis and other areas of cooperation across hemispheres where the UAE and Israel serve as important innovation hubs.”
The US administration has maintained that Biden’s visit will 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”, the official had said.
Though this will be the first summit-level meeting of I2U2, earlier, foreign ministers of four countries had met in October 2021. The meeting took place during external affairs minister S Jaishankar’s visit to Israel last year. He was joined by UAE foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken virtually, while then Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid was present in person during the meeting. The ministers had discussed issues around trade, climate, and maritime security.
It was during this meet that the I2U2 group, also termed as ‘Western Quad’, was conceptualised.