I2U2 Summit to focus on joint projects in key areas
The first summit of the new four-nation grouping "I2U2" will be held virtually on Thursday. The summit that will be hosted by US President Joe Biden will see the participation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Israeli PM Yair Lapid, and United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Notably, Biden will be on a visit to West Asia from Wednesday to Saturday.
Why does this story matter?
The I2U2 grouping was conceptualized during the foreign ministers' meeting of the four countries on October 18, 2021. Each country also holds Sherpa-level interactions regularly. The four world leaders are also likely to discuss the global food and energy crisis arising out of the Ukraine conflict. Interestingly, India's relations with the other three member nations are hitting the right notes lately.
Member nations to discuss joint projects
I2U2's name is derived from the names of the member nations—India, Israel, the UAE, and the US. "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," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Tuesday.
Joint investment in six areas
The MEA said that the group is aimed to encourage joint investments in six areas such as water, energy, health, food security, transportation, and space. The group also intends to "mobilize the private sector capital and expertise to help modernize the infrastructure, low carbon development pathways for our industries, improve public health, and promote the development of critical emerging and green technologies," it added.
Biden to visit Saudi Arabia
The I2U2 is the third four-country grouping with the US as a member launched in recent years. Among the others is the Quad that the US formed with India, Australia, and Japan. Then, there is one with the US, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan. Interestingly, President Biden will also visit Saudi Arabia this week and meet Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman despite facing criticisms.