• Wednesday, October 04, 2023


India, US, Saudi Arabia and UAE discuss shared vision on Middle East

The four delegations agreed to maintain regular consultations and follow up on the matters discussed throughout the day

Ajit Doval (R) interacts with White House National Security Advisor to US President Jake Sullivan during the reception, at India House, in Washington. (ANI Photo)

By: Pramod Thomas

India, US, Saudi Arabia, UAE on Sunday (7) worked towards advancing their shared vision of a ‘more secure, prosperous Middle East region interconnected with India and the world’, according to a readout issued by the White House.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval, his UAE counterpart Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Saudi Prime Minister and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, according to the official readout.

The four delegations agreed to maintain regular consultations and follow up on the matters discussed throughout the day.

Sullivan also held bilateral meetings with the crown prince, Sheikh Tahnoon, and Doval to discuss bilateral and regional matters.

Sullivan said he looks forward to further consulting with Doval on the margins of the Quad Summit later this month in Australia.

The US official also discussed efforts to end Yemen’s eight-year war during a meeting with Prince Mohammed, the White House said.

The meeting came during a tense period for US-Saudi ties, marred by disputes over human rights issues and oil production.

Sullivan and Prince Mohammed, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, ‘reviewed significant progress in talks to further consolidate the now 15-month long truce in Yemen and welcomed ongoing UN-led efforts to bring the war to a close’, the White House statement said.

Meanwhile, NSA Doval recently held talks with his Iranian counterpart Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, in Tehran.

The two officials discussed economic, political and security issues concerning the two countries as well as the most important regional and international developments during the meeting, reported Iran’s IRNA news agency.

The White House’s statement of an ‘inter-connected’ region was notable as a US news website had reported a day earlier that the meeting was about a major infrastructure project.

Axios wrote that the top security officials of the four countries would examine a possible joint infrastructure project linking ‘Gulf and Arab countries via a network of railways that would also be connected to India via shipping lanes from ports in the region’.

According to the media group, the project is a key initiative that the White House wants to back as China’s influence in the region grows.

Ahead of the meeting, Sullivan had talked about this meeting in a speech at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He said that his meetings would discuss ‘new areas of cooperation between New Delhi and the Gulf as well as the US and the rest of the region, fueled in part by the comprehensive economic partnership signed last year between India and the UAE’.

According to reports, the idea for the railway project germinated in the I2U2 forum, which includes Israel, India, the US, and UAE.


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