What do India, Israel, UAE and USA have in common?
The four countries have decided to create a new economic forum, one where the new 'quad' will cooperate for the benefit of each other's economic future. This will include exploring ideas for projects involving joint infrastructures in transportation, maritime security, Big Data, technology, trade and of course economics.
During a five-day visit to Israel, India's external affairs minister, S. Jaishankar accompanied his Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid on a virtual meeting with US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan held on 18th October 2021.
During the course of the meeting, the four leaders exchanged their views regarding concerns in the region.
After the meeting, minister Jaishankar tweeted out the following, "A fruitful first meeting with Israeli APM and FM Yair Lapid, UAE FM Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken this evening. Discussed working together more closely on economic growth and global issues. Agreed on expeditious follow-up."
A joint statement at the end of the meeting stated that the leaders have decided that they would each appoint senior-level professionals into a joint working group who would put together different options for cooperation in the areas that were discussed.
Minister Yair Lapid said this after the meeting, "Around this virtual table, there is a unique set of capabilities, knowledge and experience that can be used to create the network that we all want to see created."
"I think the word we’re looking for here is synergy, because this is what we’re going to try and create starting with this meeting. Synergy that will help us work together on infrastructure, digital infrastructure, transport, maritime security and other things that preoccupy us all."
He also added, “The key to success is how quickly can we move from ‘government-to-government’ to ‘business-to-business.’ How quickly can we turn this into a working process that will put boots on the ground, changing infrastructure around the world.”
Minister Jaishankar cited the fight against the Coronavirus as an example of the benefits such cooperation could have.
He said, “I think it is very clear that on the big issues of our times we all think very similarly and what would be helpful would be if we could agree on some practical things to work upon."
USA's Blinken reportedly said, "I think that is what this gathering is about. Sitting here in Washington, I can say very simply that with Israel, the UAE and India, we have three of our most strategic partners. And given so many overlapping interests – energy, climate, trade, regional security – this seems like a really interesting and good idea to try and use this new format. And by bringing friends together in new ways, we are making these partnerships even greater than the sum of their parts."
UAE’s Al Nahyan thanked Blinken and Lapid for "proposing the idea" of creating the forum. He said that businesses would be surprised at the opportunities this would bring and should keep an eye out for how the trading community responds. "Minister Jaishankar is an old friend, I could say, but also India and UAE have such a strong and diverse relationship," Al Nahyan said.
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