Leaders of the USA, India, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are likely to announce a major joint infrastructure deal on Saturday to connect Gulf and Arab countries via a network of railways, US-based news website Axios reported on Thursday, citing sources.
The deal will also connect the rail network to India through shipping lanes from ports in the Gulf region.
The report also added that if Saudi Arabia and Israel normalise their relations in the future, Israel could also be part of the project.
Later, the Biden administration extended the idea to include Saudi Arabia.
The project is being seen as a counter to China’s plans of expansion in West Asia under its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
“The joint railway project is expected to be one of the key deliverables Biden wants to present during the G20 Summit in New Delhi this weekend,” the report said.
If the four nations finalise the negotiations over the weekend, their leaders will sign a memorandum of understanding outlining the parameters of the project, it added.
First Published: Sep 08 2023 | 10:43 AM IST