US, India, Saudi and others Likely to Discuss Joint Infrastructure Project Linking Railways and Ports
8 September, 2023 | Anupam Shrivastava
The genesis of this project between United States, Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and India can be traced back to discussions held over the past 18 months within another forum known as I2U2.
Leaders from the US, India, Saudi Arabia, and other nations are engaged in discussions regarding a potential infrastructure agreement involving railways and ports, as reported by Reuters, citing insider sources. The initial report on these talks came from the American newsletter Axios.
According to Axios, this emerging initiative could be a crucial endeavor that the White House is actively promoting in the Middle East, given the increasing influence of China and its Belt and Road vision in the region. The Biden administration is striving to finalize a significant deal with Saudi Arabia, which may encompass a normalization agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel, all before the 2024 election cycle dominates President Biden’s agenda.
As per Axios, the project aims to create connectivity among Arab nations in the Levant and the Gulf through a comprehensive network of railways, which will also establish links to India via seaports in the Gulf, sources have disclosed.
The genesis of this new initiative can be traced back to discussions held over the past 18 months within another forum known as I2U2. This forum comprises the United States, Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and India, with a primary focus on strategic infrastructure projects in the Middle East. It also serves as a counterbalance to China’s expanding influence in the region.
During these I2U2 meetings in the past year, Israel introduced the concept of interconnecting the region through railways. Part of this concept involves tapping into India’s expertise in managing large-scale infrastructure projects, according to a source.
Subsequently, the Biden administration expanded upon this idea to encompass Saudi Arabia’s participation, Axios reported, citing its source.
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