There have been reports that the USA, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and India could potentially create a combined infrastructure consisting of a railway network throughout Arab countries and shipping pathways to India. Know all about this ambitious project more on SURFACES REPORTER (SR):
Recently, in Riyadh, an interfaith meeting was held between Jake Sullivan, the US National Security Advisor; Mohammed bin Salman, the Prime Minister and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia; Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE National Security Advisor; and Ajit Doval, India's National Security Advisor, reported Arabian Business.
Building bridges with rails
At this meeting, it appears that the US is taking a firm stance in countering China's expanding presence in the Middle East. As suggested by Axios' recent report, the three Asian countries are working towards creating a substantial railway system. The White House stated that the leaders and National Security Advisors had convened in Saudi Arabia to pursue their common objective of advancing an interconnected Middle East region with India and other parts of the world.
Massive Joint infrastructure project
Axios sources reported that the US official would be discussing a major joint infrastructure project, which would create a network of railways linking several Arab countries and India via shipping lanes from local ports. The notion, originally raised during talks held within I2U2—comprising the US, Israel, UAE and India—was further developed by President Joe Biden's administration to include Saudi Arabia.
Axios reported that their query to the Indian, Emirati, and Saudi embassies in Washington went unanswered. On Thursday at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, US Secretary of State Antony J. Sullivan hinted at an upcoming initiative - “I2U2” - inviting people to wait and see what's in store.
India as a unification element
India is seen by many as the unification element for this partnership. Washington has established a steady relationship with New Delhi and it is seen as a potential ally to neutralize any possibilities of Chinese influence on the global stage. Moreover, when it comes to Saudi Arabia and UAE, India is one of their major energy consumers. Prior to its shifting reliance towards Russia after the conflict in Ukraine, India had been highly dependent on them for its energy needs.
India has traditionally looked to the Gulf region, particularly Saudi Arabia and the UAE, for its energy needs. OPEC was once an essential part of imports with a share of up to 90 per cent before Russia's discounted oil became available. April saw this percentage hit an all-time low at 46 per cent, yet India is still a significant consumer from said region alongside being a major exporter of goods and labour to West Asia. Moreover, it enjoys warm relations with both countries.
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