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PM Modi to participate in virtual summit of 12U2 group along with US President Joe Biden next month

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Joe Biden.(File photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate along with US President Joe Biden, Israeli Prime Minister Neftali Bennett and UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in a virtual summit of the newly formed I2U2 grouping next month for discussions on the food security crisis and other areas of cooperation, a top US official said on Tuesday.

The four nations decided to launch this new Quad as External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar joined his counterparts in a virtual meeting.

The virtual summit of the four countries would take place during Biden's trip to the Middle East region from July 13 to 16, a senior administration official told reporters during a conference call.

President Biden looks forward to this unique engagement, he added.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price, said at a news conference on Tuesday that each of these countries are technological hubs.

"India is a massive consumer market. It is a massive producer of high-tech and highly sought-after goods as well. So, there are a number of areas where these countries can work together, whether its technology, trade, climate, COVID-19, and potentially even security as well," he said.

"Part of our approach from the start is not only to revitalise and re-energise our system of alliances and partnerships around the world, but also to stitch together partnerships that did not exist previously or were not utilised to their full extent," Mr Price said.

This summit comes at a time when Biden will be embarking on his first trip to the Middle East region next month, visiting Israel, West Bank and Saudi Arabia from July 13-16, the White House confirmed in a statement. Biden’s visit to the Gulf comes in the wake of the new geopolitical situation that has emerged after the conflict in Ukraine.

India and Israel have strengthened their bilateral relationship after PM Modi's visit to the country in 2017.

Referring to the new Quad consisting of India, Israel, UAE and the US, Jaishankar hoped this group can play an important role in furthering economic cooperation in that region.

Also read:  The Quad: A work in progress or a Force for Global Good?