UAE - Economic cooperation is integral to achieving peace, security and progress, the UAE President has said as he met leaders of India, Israel and the US during a virtual summit on Thursday.

"By strengthening our partnerships, we can create new opportunities and work together to address shared challenges," tweeted the President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed; Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi; US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid took part in the first virtual meeting of the ‘I2U2’ Group. ‘I2U2’ refers to the first letters of the four countries’ names.

According to a joint statement released by the four leaders at the end of the summit, the UAE will invest $2 billion to develop a series of integrated food parks across India. The project will incorporate “state-of-the-art climate-smart technologies” to reduce food waste and spoilage, conserve fresh water, and employ renewable energy sources.

India will provide appropriate land for the food parks project and facilitate farmers’ integration into them, the joint statement said.

“US and Israeli private sectors will be invited to lend their expertise and offer innovative solutions that contribute to the overall sustainability of the project. These investments will help maximise crop yields and, in turn, help tackle food insecurity in South Asia and the Middle East.”

Another initiative will see the I2U2 Group advance a hybrid renewable energy project in India’s Gujarat state consisting of 300 megawatts (MW) of wind and solar capacity complemented by a battery energy storage system. The US Trade and Development Agency funded a feasibility study for the $330 million project.

UAE-based companies are exploring opportunities to serve as “critical knowledge and investment partners”.

The leaders expressed determination to leverage well-established markets to build more innovative, inclusive, and science-based solutions to enhance food security and sustainable food systems. The leaders also welcomed India’s interest in joining the US, UAE, and Israel in the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate initiative (AIM for Climate).

Support for Abraham Accords

The leaders affirmed their support for the Abraham Accords and “other peace and normalisation arrangements with Israel”.

“We welcome the economic opportunities that flow from these historic developments, including for the advancement of economic cooperation in the Middle East and South Asia, and in particular for the promotion of sustainable investment among the I2U2 partners. We also welcome other new groupings of countries, such as the Negev Forum for regional cooperation, that recognise the unique contributions of each partner country, including Israel’s ability to serve as an innovation hub connecting new partners and hemispheres to strategically address challenges that are too great for any one country to manage alone.”

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