Jerusalem, Oct 19 (PTI):
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had a “fruitful” first quadrilateral meeting with his counterparts from the US, Israel and the UAE on ways to expand economic and political cooperation in the Middle East and Asia, including through trade, infrastructure and enhancing maritime security. Jaishankar, who is currently on a five-day visit to Israel, was accompanied by the home nation’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, during the virtual meeting. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan participated virtually as the four leaders also exchanged views on shared issues of concern in the region. “A fruitful first me said. State Department Spokesperson Ned Price in a statement said that Blinken and his three counterparts discussed expanding economic and political cooperation in the Middle East and Asia, including through trade, combating climate change, energy cooperation, and increasing maritime security. The foreign ministers also discussed people to people ties in technology and science, and how to support global public health in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said. Blinken in a tweet said that the meeting discussed “shared issues of concern in the region and globally, and the importance of expanding our economic and political collaboration. In his remarks, Blinken described Israel, the UAE and India as three of “our most strategic partners”. He said by “bringing friends together in new ways, we are making these partnerships even greater than the sum of their parts”. “I think that is what this gathering is about. Sitting here in Washington I can say very simply that with Israel, the UAE and India we have three of our most strategic partners. And given so many overlapping interests — energy, climate, trade, regional security this seems like a really interesting and good idea to try and use this new format and very complementary capabilities in very many areas to just see many more things get done. That’s the idea,” Blinken said.
Lapid, who is also Israel’s Alternate Prime Minister, noted that “one of the things we are looking for is synergy, and that is what we will try and create after this meeting.” “Synergy which will help us work together in all the areas that preoccupies us. Around this table we have a unique set of capabilities, knowledge and experiences that can be used to create a network that we all want to create,” Lapid said, adding it will help in working together on infrastructure, digital infrastructure, transport, maritime security and other things.
The Israeli leader felt that the key to achieving what they were aiming at was quickly moving from government to government to business to business.
He emphasised on the need for this quadrilateral grouping to quickly put adequate mechanisms in place to translate efforts into real businesses around the globe. “We decided to establish an international forum for economic cooperation and discussed possibilities for joint infrastructure projects in a wide range of fields,” Lapid tweeted on Tuesday.
Jerusalem, Oct 19 (PTI):