India, Israel, UAE, US form new I2U2 Grouping; 1st summit soon

News Network
June 15, 2022

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Washington: The new I2U2 grouping of India, Israel, UAE and the US will hold its first virtual summit next month as part of the Biden administration's efforts to re-energise and revitalise American alliances across the world, according to the White House.

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

The virtual summit of the four countries would take place during Biden's trip to the Middle East 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, Prime Minister Modi and President Mohammed bin Zayed, the official said.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price, during his daily news conference on Tuesday, told reporters that each of these countries are technological hubs.

"India is a massive consumer market. It is a massive producer of high-tech and highly sought-after goods as well. So, there are a number of areas where these countries can work together, whether its technology, trade, climate, COVID-19, and potentially even security as well," he said.

"Part of our approach from the start is not only to revitalise and re-energise our system of alliances and partnerships around the world, but also to stitch together partnerships that did not exist previously or were not utilised to their full extent," Mr Price said.

"Biotechnology is also prominent. Deepening trade and economic ties between these countries is in our interest when it comes to the relationship between Israel and the UAE. That is something we have sought to deepen. These two countries have deepened their relationship in recent years, including in the economic realm," he said.

Joe 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, Joe 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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News Network
September 17,2022

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Hyderabad, Sept 17: Communal forces in the country and Telangana are trying to divide the society and spread hatred among people, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao alleged on Saturday. Addressing a gathering after unfurling the national flag on 'Telangana Jateeya Samaikyata Dinotsavam' (Telangana National Integration Day) here, Rao said if religious fanaticism grows, it will destroy the very life of the nation and result in deterioration of human relationships.

Noting that religious fanaticism was on the upsurge, Rao said, "They plant thorns in societal relations for their narrow interests. They are spreading hatred among people with their venomous comments. This kind of division between people is in no way justified." Rao’s comments came minutes after Union Home Minister Amit Shah hoisted the national flag at parade grounds marking the celebrations of ‘Hyderabad Liberation Day' elsewhere in the city.

The state government celebrated September 17 as Telangana Jateeya Samaikyata Dinotsavam (Telangana National Integration Day) while the Centre named it as Hyderabad Liberation Day'. The Telangana government had on September 3 announced its decision to observe September 17 as Telangana National Integration Day. September 17 is the day erstwhile Hyderabad State under Nizam rule merged with the Indian Union in 1948.

Rao charged the 'disruptive forces' with distorting the occasion of September 17, which stands as a symbol of national unity, to fulfill their narrow and selfish political interests.

These forces which have no connection with the historical events of September 17 are trying to distort and pollute the bright history of Telangana with petty politics, he claimed.

“The Telangana society actively responds in the most intellectual way. The same activeness and intelligence should be shown again. The insidious efforts of these evil and corrupt forces, which are trying to sever the fabric of the nation, must be thwarted. I warn you once again that there is a danger that the society will be thrown into turmoil even if it is forgotten in a blink of an eye.”

Listing the achievements of Telangana after its formation in 2014, the CM said in the industrial sector, investments of to the tune of Rs 232,111 crore have come in the past eight years creating 16.50 lakh jobs. KCR said Telangana is making unparalleled progress in the field of IT with Rs 1.84 lakh crore worth of exports in 2021 against Rs over 57,000 crore in 2014 and surpassed the country's growth rate in the sector exports. 
 

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News Network
September 26,2022

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Koppal, Sept 26: A fruit merchant was arrested in Karnataka's Koppal district by the police said on Monday over suspicion of his links with the Islamic State (IS) terror group.

The arrested person was identified as Shabbir Mandalagiri, a resident of Binnigida region in Gangavathy town, where he worked.

According to the police, Mandalagiri had ties with Maaz Munir and Syed Yasin, the two suspects who were arrested earlier. Mandalagiri's residence was raided on Sunday midnight after which he was arrested, the police added.

Meanwhile, the Shivamogga police investigating the case have intensified operations to nab Mohammad Shariq, a cloth salesman, who is the kingpin in Karnataka.

Shariq managed to escape after the arrest of Maaz Munir and Syed Yasin.

According to police, the arrested suspects confessed to having conducted trial blasts successfully on the banks of Tunga Bhadra River and burnt Indian flag. 

The accused came into the limelight after the arrest of Jabiulla in connection with a stabbing case following the row over the Veer Savarkar flex row in Shivamogga. 

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News Network
September 16,2022

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Samarkand, Sept 16: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday attended the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in the historic Uzbek city here along with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and leaders of the other member states of the influential grouping.

It is for the first time that Xi and Modi came face-to-face since the border standoff between India and China escalated following the deadly clash in Galwan Valley in June 2020.

The summit is also being attended by Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and leaders of several central Asian countries.

Ahead of the deliberations at the restricted format of the summit, leaders of the permanent members of the grouping posed for a group photo.

At the venue of the summit, Modi was warmly greeted by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

After the summit, Prime Minister Modi is set to have separate bilateral meetings with Russian President Putin, Uzbek President Mirziyoyev and Iranian President Raisi.

Modi arrived here on Thursday night on an around 24-hour visit.

Hours before departing for Samarkand, Modi said he was looking forward to exchanging views at the summit on topical regional and international issues as well as on reform and expansion of the grouping.

"At the SCO Summit, I look forward to exchanging views on topical, regional and international issues, the expansion of SCO and further deepening of multifaceted and mutually beneficial cooperation within the Organisation," Modi said.

"Under the Uzbek chairship, a number of decisions for mutual cooperation are likely to be adopted in areas of trade, economy, culture and tourism," he said.

The SCO is holding its first in-person summit in Samarkand in Uzbekistan after two years since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which prevented such high-level gatherings.

The summit in Samarkand will have two sessions - one restricted session which is only meant for the SCO member states and then there will be an extended session that is likely to see the participation of the observers and the special invitees of the chair country.

Launched in Shanghai in June 2001, the SCO has eight full members, including its six founding members, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan joined as full members in 2017.

Over the years, it has emerged as one of the largest trans-regional international organisations.

Iran is likely to be given the status of a permanent member of the SCO at the Samarkand summit.

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