UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has told the inaugural I2U2 Group meeting that “only partnerships can overcome today's complex and overlapping challenges” and said the UAE would continue to promote coexistence and constructive cooperation across the Middle East.
At the I2U2 - which stands for India, Israel, the UAE and the US - Sheikh Mohamed said that the UAE believes that the economy offers the best way to achieve peace, security and progress, especially when governments and people have the will and courage to build partnerships and face challenges, state news agency WAM reported Thursday.
“This is embodied in the first projects of our quartet, which have focused on food, climate-smart agriculture, solar and wind energy, and energy storage,” the UAE President continued.
During the summit, which saw the participation of US President Joe Biden, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the attendance of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed expressed his hope that their “quartet will be a model for those who desire peace and prosperity, and will provide evidence of the great opportunities lost through conflicts and squandered by blind extremism at the expense of people eager to live a good life”.
In his statement, the UAE President said: “This Summit is clear evidence of the great opportunities for co-operation between countries and economies with shared values and goals centered around peace, tolerance and prosperity.”
“Our countries do not share geographical borders, yet they converge in their pursuit of peace and their joint action to achieve well-being and prosperity.”
“We, in the UAE, believe that the economy offers the best way to achieve peace, security and progress, especially when governments and people have the will and courage to build partnerships and face challenges.”
Peace and prosperity
On the importance of regional partnerships to over come complex challenges in the current climate, Sheikh Mohamed said the sectors of food and energy security, climate change and healthcare were key.
“This is embodied in the first projects of our quartet, which have focused on food, climate-smart agriculture, solar and wind energy, and energy storage,” he said. “As I extend my appreciation to the leaders of the group and the technical teams of the four countries for what has been achieved, I would also like to emphasize the importance of giving priority to research and development, healthcare and space.”
Sheikh Mohamed made a call for building on the strengths that each of the I2U2 countries possess in these sectors.
“Dear Leaders: I look forward today to a fruitful summit and, subsequently, to work with you within the I2U2 Group, at the bilateral level and within other international platforms, the most important of which are the G20Summit and the Conference of the Parties (COP) that the UAE will host at its 28th session next year,” he said. “I also hope that our quartet will be a model for those who desire peace and prosperity, and will provide evidence of the great opportunities lost through conflicts and squandered by blind extremism at the expense of people eager to live a good life.”
Israel, India, the US, and the UAE held a meeting on Thursday to discusses joint cooperation in food security and clean energy initiatives, among other areas of mutual interest, at the inaugural I2U2 Group meeting, the nations’ heads of state said in a joint statement.
“This unique grouping of countries aims to harness the vibrancy of our societies and entrepreneurial spirit to tackle some of the greatest challenges confronting our world, with a particular focus on joint investments and new initiatives in water, energy, transportation, space, health, and food security,” the joint statement read.
The leaders said they intended to mobilize private sector capital and expertise to bolster efforts in the carbon development space, improve public health and access to vaccines, modernize infrastructure, and advance connectivity between Middle Eastern countries.
They aim to achieve these objectives by devising new solutions for waste management, connecting startups from their respective countries to I2U2 investments, explore areas for joint financing and promote the development of critical emerging and green technologies, in addition to tackling the current global food and energy insecurity crisis.
Home to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and host of the 2023 climate change conference COP28, the UAE will invest $2 billion in developing a series of integrated food parks across India which will incorporate cutting-edge, climate-smart technologies to reduce food waste, conserve fresh water, and deploy renewable energy sources.
India will provide the land needed for the project and facilitate the integration of farmers into the food parks.
Companies operating in the US and Israeli private sectors will be invited to offer their expertise and solutions that can play a role in contributing to the overall sustainability of the project.
The I2U2 Group also intends to advance a hybrid renewable energy project – worth $330 million – in India’s Gujarat State, which will consist of 300 megawatts of wind and solar capacity complemented by a battery energy storage system. The feasibility study for the project was funded by the US Trade and Development Agency.
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