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PM Modi, US President Biden to attend I2U2 virtual summit next week: White House

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Washington, Jun 14: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, Israeli Prime Minister Neftali Bennett and UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan would attend a first-of-its-kind virtual summit called I2U2 next month for discussions of the food security crisis and other areas of cooperation, the White House said on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden

The virtual summit of the four countries, termed I2U2, would take place during Biden's trip to the region from July 13 to 16, a senior administration official told reporters during a conference call.

President Biden looks forward to this unique engagement with Prime Minister Bennett of Israel, Prime Minister Modi of India and President Mohammed bin Zayed of the UAE, the official said.

Biden will visit the Middle East region from July 13 to July 16 with stops in Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia, and engagements with nearly a dozen counterparts from across the region and beyond.

"The first stop is Israel. This will be President Biden's first visit to the country as President, and it comes nearly 50 years after his first visit to Israel as a young senator," said the official.

During the trip, Biden will engage with nearly a dozen of his counterparts in three stops - Israel, the West Bank, and Saudi Arabia.

It is part of this clear sequence of global engagements at an important moment, the official said.

"It demonstrates, we believe, the return of American leadership to bring countries together to address common threats and challenges, something the US can uniquely do.

"And with new frameworks that aim to harness unique American capabilities to enable partners to work more closely together, which is essential to a more secure, prosperous and stable Middle East region over the long term," the official said.

Biden's visit will also focus on Israel's increasing integration into the region, both through the Abraham Accords with the UAE, Morocco and Bahrain; through deepening ties between Israel, Jordan and Egypt; and also entirely new groupings of partners, including Israel, India, the UAE, and the United States - what they call I2U2, said the official.

"We consider these initiatives central to our strategy of empowering partners and encouraging them to work more closely together, which will lead to a more stable region and also to Israel's security and prosperity over the longer term.

"Importantly, some of these new partnerships reach beyond the Middle East, and the President will hold a virtual summit with the I2U2 heads of state for discussions of the food security crisis and other areas of cooperation across hemispheres where the UAE and Israel serve as important innovation hubs," the official added.

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