The foreign ministers of India, Israel, US and the UAE on October 18 held the first of its kind virtual meeting to discuss the possibilities for joint infrastructure projects in the fields of transportation, technology, maritime security and economics and trade, as well as for additional joint projects.
The meeting, described in strategic circles as a “New Quad”, was attended by Indian external affairs minister S Jaishankar, who is currently in Jerusalem, Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid, US state secretary Antony Blinken and UAE foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
“A fruitful first meeting with Israeli APM and FM @YairLapid, UAE FM @ABZayed and US Secretary of State @SecBlinken this evening. Discussed working together more closely on economic growth and global issues. Agreed on expeditious follow-up,” Jaishankar tweeted after the meeting.
The four ministers decided to establish an international forum for economic cooperation.
The Israeli minister, who initiated the meeting, said: “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,” Lapid said.
During the meeting, the ministers discussed a range of issues, including climate change, energy cooperation, maritime security, and expanding economic and political cooperation in the respective regions, US state department spokesperson Ned Price said.
It was decided that each minister will appoint senior-level professionals to a joint working group that will formulate options for cooperation in the identified areas.
The four ministers indicated that they would hold an in-person meeting in the coming months at Expo 2020 in Dubai.
THE STATESMAN (INDIA)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK