American President Joe Biden landed in Israel on Wednesday afternoon, where he was welcomed by the President and the Prime Minister of Israel.
President Joe Biden will participate in the second virtual meeting of the West Asia Quad, or “I2U2”. Biden’s counterparts from the three countries will also attend the forum.
The initials “I2U2” stand for “I” for India and Israel and “U” for the US and UAE.
“I2U2” was established last October following the Abraham Accords between Israel and the UAE, to deal with issues related to maritime security, infrastructure and transport in the region.
While Israel, the United Arab Emirates and the US were the natural partners in the grouping, India’s entry came amid its strained relationship with China and efforts to broaden its global alliances.
New Delhi is also part of the Quad Group led by the US and including Australia and Japan. India shares strong strategic, historical and economic ties with the Gulf States.
Modi has further strengthened the India-Gulf alliance since taking office in 2014.
In fact, we were the first to report on the developments, while we also talked about Greece’s involvement, with Israel’s former National Security Advisor confirming us!
“The formation of the new I2U2 group is an important development where India’s partnership could prove to be a ‘game changer’,” a former Israeli national security adviser said ahead of the forum’s first high-level meeting he will actually attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Israel’s former National Security Adviser, General Yaakov Amidor, said that “India can also help strengthen and expand the scope of the Abraham Accords by bringing in new countries.”
“He has the ability to pressure others by saying it’s in the world’s interest,” said Amidror, who remains active with several think-tanks.
The stated purpose of the I2U2 forum meeting, also called the new Quad, is to discuss “the food security crisis and other areas of cooperation in all hemispheres.”
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Biden in Jerusalem will meet via video call with Prime Minister Modi and United Arab Emirates President Mohamed bin Zayed on Thursday evening for the talks.
The leaders’ remarks at the start of the event will be broadcast live, according to an official announcement on Tuesday.
“Trade, where Israel can serve as a bridge, agriculture, food security and advanced technology are likely to feature prominently in the talks,” Amidor said.
Israel’s former National Security Adviser also said that Biden’s visit will certainly help build a positive dynamic among Arab states seeking to normalize ties with Israel.
With the Russia-Ukraine war posing new challenges to the energy market in Europe and the Middle East, Amidror said cooperation between Greece, Cyprus and Israel on gas pipeline projects could be an important development in the context of the I2U2 talks as well.
“Add India to this new situation, where Israel is a bridge to Europe and India is another major trading partner across the board – it will change the game,” he noted.
The European Union is reportedly aiming to cut its dependence on Russian gas by two-thirds this year and end all Russian fossil fuel imports by 2027 because of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Cyprus, Greece and Israel have agreed to build the world’s longest and deepest underwater power cable that will cross the Mediterranean Sea and connect their electricity grids.”