India, US, And Saudi Arabia Expected To Ink Key Railway, Port Deal At G20 Summit

The United States National Security Advisor said that a memorandum of understanding will be signed by the countries to explore a shipping and rail transportation project which will enhance the flow of commerce, energy and data from India to Europe across the Middle East.

Jon Finer, Principal Deputy National Security Advisor of the White House.

United States officials on Saturday said that the United States, Saudi Arabia and other countries are signing an agreement at the G20 to explore setting up a major rail and port project connecting the Middle East with India and Europe.

What is the major rail and port deal all about?

Jon Finer, US Deputy National Security Advisor, told the media that a memorandum of understanding would be signed to "explore a shipping and rail transportation (project) that will enable the flow of commerce, energy and data from here in India across the Middle East to Europe".

Finer explaining the project told the reporters in New Delhi, said, "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."

Finer has said that while Saudi Arabia and India remain to be the key participants, the deal will also include the United Arab Emirates and the European Union.  

How will the deal impact the signatories?

Finer also told the media, "This has been the result of months of careful diplomacy, quiet, careful diplomacy, bilaterally and in multilateral settings."

Finer has said that he is unsure how much time it would take, he reportedly said that the project, "has enormous potential but exactly how long it takes, I don't know."

 As leaders of G20 countries are divided over Russia's war in Ukraine and deadlocked on how to combat carbon emissions, a commitment to discuss the project could be among the most tangible results of this summit, reports AFP.

Finer also said, "While we've all read and maybe you all have written a lot of analysis about who is or isn't in Delhi for the summit, and why or why not that may be, the United States is focused on the fact that President Biden is here and rolling up his sleeves with the other G20 countries and partners to produce real results."

According to an AFP report, the deal would also allow the United States to actively engage with the United Kingdom and encourage it to normalise its ties with Israel.

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