JERUSALEM: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday said the first quadrilateral meeting with his counterparts from the US, Israel and the UAE, which included discussions on how to work together more closely on economic and global issues, was “fruitful”.
Jaishankar, who is currently on a 5-day visit to Israel, was accompanied by the host nation’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan attended the meeting virtually.
The ministers decided to establish an international forum for economic cooperation. ALSO READ: India, Israel To Resume Negotiations On FTA From Next Month
Possibilities for joint infrastructure projects in the fields of transportation, technology, maritime security, and economics and trade, as well as for additional joint projects, were also discussed extensively in the meeting.
Discussed working together more closely on economic growth and global issues. Agreed on expeditious follow-up. pic.twitter.com/kVgFM0r6hs
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) October 18, 2021
Minister of Foreign Affairs Lapid, who initiated the meeting during his visit to Washington, said at the start of the meeting: “Around this virtual table – there is a unique set of capabilities, knowledge, and experience that can be used to create the network that we all want to see created.”
“I think the word we’re looking for here is synergy, because this is what we’re going to try and create starting with this meeting. Synergy that will help us work together on infrastructure, digital infrastructure, transport, maritime security and other things that preoccupy us all.”
“The key to success is how quickly can we move from ‘government-to-government’ to ‘business-to-business’?” How quickly can we turn this into a working process that will put boots on the ground, changing infrastructure around the world.”
Dr. Jaishankar said, “the three of you are among the closest relationships we have, if not the closest”.
US Secreaty of State Blinken in a tweet said:
Today, I met with Israeli Foreign Minister @yairlapid, Indian Foreign Minister @DrSJaishankar, and Emirati Foreign Minister @ABZayed about shared issues of concern in the region and globally, and the importance of expanding our economic and political collaboration. pic.twitter.com/imEIM1Cv5d
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) October 18, 2021
United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Al Nahyan referred to India saying that Dr. Jaishankar was an old friend, India and UAE have a strong and diverse relationship.
Al Nahyan suggested businesses should be built by opportunities and then it should be observed how the trading community prepares a strategy to put a robust plan forward.
At the end of the meeting, the representatives decided to establish an international forum for economic cooperation. It was decided that each minister will appoint senior-level professionals to a joint working group that will formulate options for cooperation in the aforementioned areas.
This is Dr. Jaishankar’s first official visit to Israel as External Affairs Minister.
Both countries on Monday agreed to resume negotiations and talks on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) from November this year.