U.S. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday participated virtually from Jerusalem in the first-ever meeting of the “I2U2” group, together with the leaders of India and the United Arab Emirates.

“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 White House said in a statement.

The statement also reaffirmed the four countries’ collective commitment to the Abraham Accords and other peace and normalization arrangements between the Jewish state and Arab nations.

Thursday’s inaugural I2U2 meeting focused on the food security crisis and clean energy, with the leaders discussing innovative ways to ensure longer-term, more diversified food production and food delivery systems that can better manage global food shocks.

To this end, some $2.5 billion in projects were announced, marking “only the first steps in a long-term strategic partnership to promote initiatives and investments that improve the movement of people and goods across hemispheres, and increase sustainability and resilience through collaborative science and technology partnerships,” according to the leaders in their joint statement.

JNS

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