The group I2U2 is formed of India, Israel, the UAE, and the USA, who convened in Abu Dhabi on February 22, 2023, to talk about food security. Following the meeting, a top US official stated that the group I2U2 is working with other countries to reduce the impact of the international food crisis.
U.S. undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy, and the environment, Jose W. Fernandez, made a trip to the UAE with the U.S. special envoy for global food security, Cary Fowler. Fernandez presided over the meeting, which included UAE Minister of State Ahmed Al Sayegh, Dammu Ravi, Secretary of Economic Relations at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, and Ronen Levy, Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On the call with reporters, the undersecretary said that the group aids countries in the area in pursuing economic integration and a constructive agenda in the Middle East and Asia. Fernandez said that it serves as a model for the promotion of trusted regional partnerships that can help construct collaborative commercial possibilities and decent-paying jobs.
Fernandez stated that the I2U2 facilitates increased joint investments and projects across six sectors: energy, water, space, transportation, health, and food security. He further added that I2U2 reinforces the goal of the Biden-Harris administration to build on the Abraham Accords and other normalization agreements for the promotion of regional integration in the Middle East.
The I2U2 is nearly one and a half years old. I2U2 was founded by the four countries as an intergovernmental forum for economic cooperation in October 2021. In a phone call with his colleagues in Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and India, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken founded the group. Last July, a virtual I2U2 meeting was attended by US President Joe Biden, former Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, the then de facto ruler of the UAE and present President of the UAE, Mohamed Bin Zayed, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On February 23, after the meeting, Fernandez stated that the food corridor and clean-energy funding are part of an initiative handled by the four nations to look for ways to alleviate the hunger that everyone is seeing across the world.
He further added that they are committed to supporting the efforts to recognize the new market and construct food systems because they think that it is the only way to minimize the immense demand for humanitarian assistance and handle food security.
Fernandez continued that the I2U2 works together to increase its capacity to impart sufficient, nutritious, and affordable food and, among other things, promote agriculture and also see how it can adapt and strengthen itself for the anticipated consequences of climate change. He also said that the projects of the group will attract other nations as well.