India, Israel, the UAE and the US met for their first “quadrilateral” meeting on Monday night for closer cooperation on trade, technology, Big Data and maritime security.

According to a report by Times of India, the new grouping is described as an international forum for economic cooperation. The focus areas, according to official readouts of the participating countries, will be trade, technology cooperation, Big Data and maritime security, with the objective to generate synergies that go beyond government-level cooperation.

Israel’s foreign minister and Jaishankar joined the meeting from Jerusalem, while the others attended virtually from their countries.

After the meeting, Union Minister S Jaishankar said, “Discussed working together more closely on economic growth and global issues. Agreed on expeditious follow-up.” In his brief comment, he said, “The three of you are among the closest relationships we have, if not the closest.” He added, “I think it is very clear that on the big issues of our times we all think very similarly and what would be helpful would be if we could agree on some practical things to work upon.”

The group discussed the possibility of working together on joint infrastructure projects. The meeting also deliberated on each country appointing a senior level bureaucrat to be part of a joint working group to materialise these decisions. All four ministers promised to meet in person during the Dubai Expo in the coming months. US state department spokesperson in a statement said and his three counterparts discussed expanding economic and political cooperation in and Asia.

In his remarks, Blinken described Israel, the UAE and India as three of “our most strategic partners” and said that by “bringing friends together in new ways, we are making these partnerships even greater than the sum of their parts”.

“I think that is what this gathering is about. Sitting here in Washington I can say very simply that with Israel, the UAE and India we have three of our most strategic partners. And given so many overlapping interests — energy, climate, trade, regional security — this seems like a really good idea to try and use this new format,” he added.

Source: News18