PM Modi to attend I2-U2 virtual summit alongside Biden, others


Washington: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in a virtual summit of the quadrilateral economic forum — I2-U2, comprising India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United States, alongside US president Joe Biden and others, said a US official. The four nations decided to launch this new Quad as External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar joined his counterparts at a meeting via videoconference from Jerusalem.


Biden’s first trip to the Middle East region next month, visiting Israel, West Bank and Saudi Arabia from July 13-16, PM Modi will participate in I2-U2 virtual summit alongside Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed, the official said.


It would be the highest-level gathering of the forum to date. The leaders 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 officials added.


India and Israel have a truly special relationship and since PM Modi’s visit to the country in 2017, the relationship had really taken off. Referring to the new Quad consisting of India, Israel, UAE and the US, Jaishankar hoped this group can play an important role in furthering economic cooperation in that region.


This meeting comes as Biden will be undertaking his first trip to the Middle East region next month, visiting Israel, West Bank and Saudi Arabia from July 13-16, the White House confirmed in a statement.


According to a senior Biden official, the US President 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). 

first published:June 14, 2022, 8:22 p.m.

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