The leaders of the United States, India, Israel and the United Arab Emirates on Thursday held their first virtual summit as part of a new initiative under the banner of I2U2, a collection of countries that have pledged greater collaboration.
The idea was hatched last year in Washington, at the home of the UAE ambassador, according to Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid.
“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,” Lapid said. “Anyone who understands that we live in a new world with new challenges would succeed and flourish.”
He added that, “In the 21st century, challenges are local, but the solutions are global.”
“I also hope that our quartet will be a model for those who desire peace and prosperity,” until UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan said in his opening remarks.
In a joint statement the UAE pledged to finance a $2 billion agricultural project in India, with potential help from US and Israeli companies to lend their expertise that will help maximize crop yields.
The idea is to bring farmers, processors and retailers together in one place using the latest climate technology to minimise waste, conserve water and maximise crop yields.
The four countries would also advance renewable energy projects in India, the countries said in a statement.
“The more we work together, the more we’ll see the benefits multiply and grow to advance our shared commitment to peace, stability and growing prosperity,” US president Biden said. “They all go together.”
Russia’s attack on Ukraine caused widespread food and energy crises, Biden said, in calling for a collective cooperation in the face of global challenges.
The four countries also vowed to invest in water, energy, space and food, according to a joint statement from the group.