I2U2 sends out a new message of cooperation - GulfToday

I2U2 sends out a new message of cooperation


The UAE President Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed attends the virtual I2U2 summit with the leaders of India, Israel and the US.

The joint statement that came at the end of the virtual summit of the heads of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United States, India and Israel on Thursday has sent out a refreshingly new message of international cooperation.

The key announcement was about the $2 billion investment in food parks across India with the private sectors in the US and Israel contributing the expertise and India is to provide land and infrastructure.

Secondly, the experiment in agricultural cooperation is to improve the farm sector in the face of climate change, and the successes of the project will be shared with other countries.

This I2U2 is not an exclusivist group, and its doors are not closed to the non-members.

The UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said “I also hope that our quartet will be a model for those who desire peace and prosperity.” United States President Joe Biden said about united effort being the best approach.

The joint statement of the summit released on Thursday said that the UAE “will invest 2 billion in USD to develop a series of integrated food parks across India that will incorporate state-of-the-art climate-smart technologies to reduce food wastage and spoilage, conserve fresh water, employ renewable energy sources.” It said, “These investments will help maximise crop yields, and in turn, help tackle food insecurity in South Asia and Middle East.”

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid revealed how the idea of the I2U2 was conceived at the home of a diplomat in Washington.

He said, “We sat around the table and spoke about how, after we get control over the pandemic, anyone trying to go back to how things used to be would fail. Anyone who understands that we live in a new world with new challenges would succeed and flourish. In the 21st century challenges are local, but solutions are global.”

The other major project mooted in the joint statement is a hybrid renewable project to produce 300 megawatts of wind and solar capacity and a battery energy storage system to be set up in the Indian state of Gujarat.

A feasibility study of $330 million project has been done by the US Trade and Development Agency.

The joint statement said, “UAE-based companies are exploring opportunities to serve as critical knowledge and investment partners.” The US and Israel want to work with the UAE and India to look at private sector opportunities.

This new group of four, which will soon be known as the Quad as well like the other Quad comprising Australia, United States, Japan, and India, has clear plans and goals, and it is clear that the UAE’s policy priorities like evolving agricultural practices keeping in mind climate change challenges, will be the main building block.

The Australia-US-Japan-India Quad is seen in strategic terms as directed against China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific. But I2U2 is turning out to be different where the priority is the challenge of the future, and it is not directed against anyone like the US-Israel partnership is now clearly directly against a nuclear Iran.

And it is possible that the I2U2 will expand and more countries will join this partnership so that they can join forces in finding solutions to the challenges of the future.

The UAE is again playing a key role because it is gearing up its entire policy framework towards facing the demands of the future. No other country is focusing as much as UAE is on the issue of climate change as a key factor shaping policy.

The I2U2 then is a formation which oriented towards the future.

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