General Studies Paper 2 (International Relations)
Question:- 129. What is the I2U2 grouping? What are its features? Discuss the opportunity areas for West Asian Quad. Answer in 250 words.
Dec 01, 2022


The I2U2 grouping or the West Asian Quad is a diplomatic group of India, Israel, the UAE and the United States. Following the Abraham Accords (Arab-Israeli peace treaty), it was founded in October 2021 to address marine security, infrastructure and transportation challenges. Its objective is to generate synergies that go beyond government level cooperation.



  1. 1. To address common areas of mutual interest, to strengthen the economic partnership in trade and investment in the respective regions of member countries and beyond.
  2. 2. The countries have jointly identified six areas of cooperation with the goal of encouraging investments in water, energy, transportation, space, health, and food security.
  3. 3. It intends to mobilize private sector capital and expertise to help modernize infrastructure, low carbon development pathways for industries, improve public health, and promote development of critical emerging and green technologies.



  1. 1. I2U2 empowers partners and encourages them to work more closely together, which will lead to a more stable region in the following ways:
  • -USA – to expand and restore partnerships that suffered during the previous regime and also reframe relationships in the Middle East.
  • -India – to play a greater global role and deepen ties with Middle East, an area it views significant because of its energy and economic interests and a large diaspora presence.
  • -UAE – opportunity to get an edge in the Persian Gulf — the maritime route that sees most of Asia’s oil passing through.
  • -Israel – to improve ties with the Arab world.


  1. 2. The I2U2’s emphasis on connectivity, transportation and a ‘food corridor’ has the potential to enable movement of critical supply chains seamlessly across South Asia, Gulf and Middle East all the way to the Mediterranean and southern Europe. E.g. Etihad Rail project that promises to link all of the Gulf with its partners by 2030. That could open up more than one market for India.


  1. 3. Standards and benchmarks: The new Quad will not only work to “reduce trade barriers, but also harmonise standards and benchmarks” for production and trade. That’s important for Indian agri exports, which suffer at the hands of phytosanitary issues.


  1. 4. Trade and investment:
  • -It is a mechanism for US for extending its infrastructure-investment and transparency initiatives to include partners in the Middle East and South Asia and to compete with comparable Chinese initiatives.
  • -India is a big consumer market for the members as well as a massive producer of high-tech and highly sought-after goods.


  1. 5. Global goals: India would join the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate initiative (AIM for Climate) of the United States, the UAE, and Israel which seeks to address climate change and global hunger by uniting participants to significantly increase investment in climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation over five years (2021 – 2025).


  1. 6. Maritime security: I2U2 has the opportunity to strengthen cooperation on maritime security to cooperate on responding to the challenges and concerns of states in the Western Indian Ocean region.




The largest challenge facing I2U2 is that, more broadly, its members have different strategic perspectives. While the US and India view China as their most significant competitor, the UAE and Israel view it as an important partner.

The region brings together the world’s biggest stakeholders. New plurilateral arrangements like I2U2 are bringing middle powers together to the new rules-making table where India particularly stands to benefit. Also, UAE announced to invest USD 2 billion in India to develop Food Parks across the country. The Grouping declared to support a “hybrid renewable energy project” in Gujarat, consisting of 300 megawatts (MW) of wind and solar capacity which is expected to be another step in India’s quest for “500 GW of non-fossil fuel capacity by 2030”.