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Leaders to discuss joint projects, economic partnership at I2U2 Summit: MEA

Joint projects and ways to strengthen economic partnership in trade and investment are among the points that will be discussed when leaders of India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United States (US) meet for the first I2U2 Summit on Thursday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the virtual I2U2 Summit with his Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid, UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and US President Joe Biden. The summit is being held during Biden’s visit to Israel as part of a four-day tour of the region, which will include a trip to Saudi Arabia.

“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 external affairs ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

“These projects can serve as a model for economic cooperation and offer opportunities for our businesspersons and workers,” it added.

HT reported on Monday that leaders at the I2U2 Summit are expected to discuss global food and energy crises, and give greater shape to joint activities and plans of the grouping that was conceptualised during a hybrid meeting of the foreign ministers of the four countries in October last year.

Each country also has sherpa-level interactions regularly to discuss possible areas of cooperation, the statement said.

The statement said ‘I2U2’ is aimed at encouraging joint investments in six mutually identified areas – water, energy, transportation, space, health, and food security.

It intends to mobilise private sector capital and expertise to help modernise infrastructure, low carbon development pathways for industries, improve public health, and promote the development of critical emerging and green technologies, the statement added.

Besides the I2U2 Summit, Biden will participate in an in-person summit in Jeddah of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) + 3, which will bring together leaders of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE, plus Iraq, Jordan and Egypt.

Ahead of the I2U2 Summit, a senior US administration official said President Biden intends to discuss “the food security crisis and other areas of cooperation across hemispheres where UAE and Israel serve as important innovation hubs”.

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