Biden Attends I2U2 Summit

A team of four countries: Israel, India, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States met as a group known together as the I2U2, to discuss securing food, energy, and political alliance in the Middle East and West Asia. Their first meeting was virtual in October of 2021 and recently met for the second time during President Biden's trip to the Middle East. The summit was held in a hotel in Jerusalem on Thursday, with President Biden and Isreal's caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid, along with the leaders of the UAE and India participating virtually.

According to the New York Times, analysts say that I2U2 "bolsters the United States’ efforts to contain China’s influence in Asia and the Middle East, reassure Middle Eastern leaders of Washington’s commitment to the region and establish better ties between its allies in different parts of the world."

China is not the sole focal point of the I2U2. The original Quad, which consists of the United States, Japan, Australia, and India, have a primary focus on joining together to be a stronghold against the powers of China. In this newer Quad, the I2U2 comes together to form an alliance against the pressures from Iran as well. In the paper China-Iran Relations: Strategic, Economic and Diplomatic Aspects in Comparative Perspective, written by Kevjn Lim, the strength of the China-Iran relationship can be seen as a powerhouse that has a need for such countries as the I2U2 to leverage:

Economic relations with Iran are among China’s most significant in the West Asia region. Iran is an energy supergiant in proven oil and gas reserves, a sizable consumer market, and a key east-west land bridge along China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). At the same time, China has become Iran’s largest trade partner, energy client and source of investments and foreign construction contracts. And yet, not only is Iran far more reliant on China than vice versa, it is also more reliant on China than other regional states are. Moreover, Beijing has developed higher trade and investment ties with some of Iran’s regional rivals and neighbors.

A major precept to the I2U2 Summit was to ensure food security in South Asia and Middle East locations. According to the Deccan Chronicle the UAE will invest $2 Bn to develop food parks across India that will incorporate "climate-smart technologies", and in turn India will provide the land and facilitate farming. America and Israel will help facilitate the project with private companies assisting to maximizing production. It was also announced that there would be a renewable energy project underway in India, to increase their non-fossil fuel capacity by 2030.

The Deccan Chronicle says that, according to Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, the four nations can "mobilise their strengths like capital and markets to "accelerate our agenda", adding that "amid the global uncertainty, our cooperative framework is a good model."

These four countries have a list of achievements they wish to tackle as a team. According to the Deccan Chronicle:
…The four leaders said they "intend to mobilise private sector capital and expertise to modernise infrastructure, advance low-carbon development pathways for our industries, improve public health and access to vaccines, advance physical connectivity between countries in the Middle East region, jointly create new solutions for waste treatment, explore joint financing opportunities, connect our startups to I2U2 investments, and promote the development of critical emerging and green technologies, all while ensuring near-and long-term food and energy security."


Foreign Policy

New York Times

China-Iran Relations: Strategic, Economic and Diplomatic Aspects in Comparative Perspective

Deccan Chronicle