The leaders of the I2U2 grouping— India, Israel, UAE and the United States — will huddle in a virtual summit on July 14, 2022, which will be hosted by US President Joe Biden. The grouping is being compared to other small alliances, one of which has striking similarities.
The I2U2 grouping was conceptualised during the meeting of the foreign ministers of the four countries held on October 18, 2021. Each country also has Sherpa-level interactions regularly to discuss the possible areas of cooperation.
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State officials have called the I2U2 grouping “the Quad of the west.” The Quad alliance, first established in 2007, consists of four member states — two of which overlap with the I2U2. India and the United States are also part of the Quad, which also includes Australia and Japan.
The Quad alliance usually focuses on matters related to the Indo-pacific region while I2U2 is designed to do the same in the western Indian Ocean. Just like Quad members Japan and Australia have influence over the Indo-pacific, I2U2 members have strong clout over the Red Sea, which links Asia to Europe via the Suez Canal.
How are I2U2 and Quad different?
Quad’s mandate usually focuses on security challenges in the Indo-pacific and the development of strategic partnerships in the area. It is also designed to be a counter-force to China’s influence in the region.
I2U2, on the other hand, was formed to address a variety of issues. According to a press release from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, the leaders will discuss “common areas of mutual interest to strengthen the economic partnership in trade and investment in our respective regions and beyond.”
“It intends to mobilise private sector capital and expertise to help modernize the infrastructure, low carbon development pathways for our industries, improve public health, and promote the development of critical emerging and green technologies”, the press release added.