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Breakthrough railway, shipping project to link India with the Middle East and Europe will be signed at G20: US

US officials on Saturday said they may sign a deal to explore building a major railway and port project that will connect the Middle East with India and Europe at the G20 Summit, opening up a big trade route.

A memorandum of understanding would be inked to “explore a shipping and rail transportation that will enable the flow of commerce, energy and data from here in India across the Middle East to Europe,” said Jon Finer, US Deputy National Security Advisor.

“First, it is not just the Railway project, it is shipping and Railway project and it is important for people to understand how expansive, ambitious and ground-breaking this will be,” he added.

Kurt Campbell, the senior U.S. official for Indo-Pacific policy, also said the leaders were working on a “major breakthrough” related to infrastructure and communications that would link India with the Middle East and Europe, Reuters reported.

Bloomberg had reported yesterday citing a top White House aide that US President Joe Biden and the leaders of India, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are pushing ahead with their plans for the joint infrastructure deal. However, the official had that time was not sure if the agreement will be reached during this weekend’s Group of 20 summit.

Axios had earlier reported that an agreement was likely to be announced during the summit as part of Washington’s efforts to balance China’s influence in the region.Saudi Arabia and the UAE, both allies of the United States, are increasingly aligning themselves with China as they aim to strengthen their connections with rapidly expanding economies in the eastern hemisphere. In the previous month, these two oil-rich nations from the Gulf region announced their intention to become members of the BRICS consortium of emerging market countries. This decision was spurred by China’s active efforts to facilitate the expansion of the bloc’s membership.(with inputs from agencies)

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