US plans 'West Asia Quad' with India, Israel and UAE

Wednesday 22nd June 2022 06:38 EDT

Washington: The United States says that it will launch a new four nation dialogue with India, Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during President Joe Biden's visit to the region next month.

The dialogue will be called as I2U2; I stand for India and Israel as they have initial letter I and U stands for US and UAE as they have the initial letter U. It will commence during the maiden trip of Joe Biden to West Asia from July 13 to16. He will also be visiting West Bank, home to the Palestinian authority and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where he will meet many religious leaders.

A senior White House official told reporters that this new initiative will be launched after virtual calls by Biden with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Israeli Prime minister Naftali Bennet and UAE President Mohammed bin Zayad Al Nahyan. They will discuss about expanding economic and political cooperation in the Middle East and Asia, including through trade, combating climate change, energy cooperation and coordination on other vital shared interests”

The spokesperson added that “I2U2 was inaugurated by Secretary of State Antony Blinken in October 2021 and the virtual summit is follow up of the “Initial touch point”. Biden will wrap up his West Asia tour in Jeddah, where he is also expected to attend the summit of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council plus Egypt, Iraq and Jordan (known as the GCC+3). He is expected to hold bilateral meetings with his counterparts.

Biden's meeting with the Saudi king Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud will be the most closely watched of all his bilateral interactions in Jeddah. He is expected to meet Mohammad bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince who is accused by the US of ordering the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist.

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