According to a report by Axios, the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and India are reportedly considering the development of a joint railway infrastructure that will connect Gulf and Arab countries via a railway network, and extend to India through shipping lanes. The national security advisers (NSAs) of these countries will meet in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, where the proposal will be discussed.

The proposed initiative would involve connecting Arab countries in the Levant and the Gulf through a network of railways that will also connect to India through seaports in the Gulf. The US National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, is expected to push the idea during the meeting.

Interestingly, discussions about a joint infrastructure programme were initiated over 18 months ago in a forum called I2U2, which comprises India, Israel, the US, and the UAE. The forum was established in late 2021 to discuss strategic infrastructure projects in the Middle East.

During a speech earlier this week at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Sullivan hinted that he would pick up where the discussion left off: “If you remember nothing else from my speech, remember I2U2 because you will be hearing more about it as we go forward.”

If the proposal for a joint railway infrastructure materializes, it could lead to significant improvements in the transportation and trade sectors, and could also provide a boost to the economies of the countries involved.