UAE invests $2 billion in food hubs in India


JERUSALEM (AP) — The latest on U.S. President Joe Biden’s trip to the Middle East (all local times):

JERUSALEM — President Joe Biden said he was working to promote Israel’s burgeoning ties with its Arab partners in the Middle East.

The US president spoke after meeting Israeli interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid in Jerusalem on Thursday.

“I said how important it was, from my perspective, that Israel be fully integrated into the region,” Biden said.

Under the Trump administration, Israel entered into diplomatic agreements with four Arab countries known as the Abraham Accords.

Biden hopes to build on those budding ties as he travels to Saudi Arabia to meet with Gulf Arab partners this weekend. The ties are largely based on shared concerns about Iran’s nuclear program and military activities in the region.

Lapid described Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia as “extremely important for Israel.”

Biden also appeared to give a boost to Lapid, who hopes to win a full term in the November election. “We had a great start to a long relationship, God willing,” Biden said.



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JERUSALEM — The United Arab Emirates is investing $2 billion to launch food processing centers across India that will use climate-smart technologies to help reduce waste and conserve fresh water.

The initiative was announced Thursday ahead of the first virtual meeting of the leaders of I2U2 – a new grouping of Israel, India, the United States and the United Arab Emirates – which seeks to boost joint investments in the water, energy, transport, food security, etc.

India will provide land for the project. Private American and Israeli companies are being invited to lend their expertise to the project, which the group says will help maximize crop yields. The group has set itself the major objective of combating food insecurity in the South and the Middle East.

President Joe Biden joins the video meeting from Israel, where he is on the second day of a whirlwind visit to the Middle East.


JERUSALEM — US President Joe Biden has started a one-on-one meeting in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

Their talks are the centerpiece of a 48-hour visit by the US president aimed at strengthening the already close relationship between the two countries.

The leaders are expected to sign a joint statement stressing military cooperation as well as their commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Commitments to Israel could hold significant symbolic importance ahead of Biden’s meeting this weekend with Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia as he seeks to bolster a regional alliance against Iran.

Thursday’s meeting also gives a boost to Lapid, who is Israel’s interim prime minister until elections in November. Lapid’s main opponent is former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and his joint appearance with Biden could help restore his credentials as a statesman and leader.

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