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US working with India in new I2U2 approach to Middle East

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This is a syndicated column piece from Al Monitor

United States National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan flew to Saudi Arabia on May 7 to meet with Saudi Prime Minister and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, UAE National Security Advisor Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and National Security Advisor of India Ajit Doval.

Their goal was to further connect the Middle East region with India and the world, building on strong Saudi-India ties as well as on the I2U2 format.

Working with Delhi is a new US approach to the Middle East, with the goal of creating strategic synergies around the Eurasian rim, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Indo-Pacific.

The current reality supports a framework for the ongoing, unprecedented alignment between India, Israel, and the Sunni Arab states (UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt) to balance the rising Eurasian powers of the region and prepare a US shift towards the Indo-Pacific.

Two major obstacles were the Arab-Israeli conflict and the India-Pakistan conflict. As the world is drifting towards a multipolar system, pragmatism is prevailing and legacy relationships with no strategic purpose are running out of time — paving the way for the Abraham Accords in 2020 and more interest-based relations between India and Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt.

The I2U2 (Israel, India, the US, and the UAE) is the first format to bring together the Middle East and South Asia.

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Business

SkyPower and ZETDC Sign landmark power purchase agreements for Zimbabwe’s largest solar project

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In a historic event at the World Future Energy Summit, SkyPower and the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) have signed Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), marking a significant milestone in the development of the largest solar project in the history of Zimbabwe. The agreements pave the way for the commencement of the Green Giant project, set to deliver 500 MW of solar power, capable of energizing approximately 2 million households.

As previously stated by His Excellency Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe: “My presidential commitment is to enhance our energy sustainability through renewable energy by collaborating with world-class companies like SkyPower. Today’s signing is a landmark achievement for our nation, setting a robust foundation for our sustainable future.”

The signing ceremony in Abu Dhabi was witnessed by eminent personalities including the Honorable Edgar Moyo, Minister of Energy of Zimbabwe, Lovemore Mazemo, Ambassador of Zimbabwe to the UAE, Eng. Abel Gurupira, Managing Director of the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company, Mr. Mazambani Edington Tapera, Chairman of ZERA.

“This is a momentous day for Zimbabwe, demonstrating our commitment to transforming our energy sector and ensuring reliable power for our people”, stated by Eng. Abel Gurupira, Managing Director of the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company. Kerry Adler, President & CEO of SkyPower, highlighted the project’s importance, “We are proud to kick off the initial phases of the Green Giant project at this prestigious summit. This partnership exemplifies our dedication to promoting sustainable energy development globally.

Upon completion, this project will stand as a testament to Zimbabwe’s commitment to renewable energy and economic growth.”

“The significance of today’s event cannot be overstated. As we align our efforts with global energy transitions, this project underlines our strategy to integrate renewable energy into our national energy mix significantly,” remarked the Honorable Edgar Moyo.

This accomplishment highlights the country’s favorable environment and underscores the exceptional teamwork and dedicated efforts from both parties.

This initiative is expected to boost Zimbabwe’s economy significantly by creating thousands of jobs and fostering infrastructure development. It is aligned with global efforts towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and enhancing the quality of life for millions of Zimbabweans.

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Announcements

UAE fuel prices announced for April 2024

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The UAE fuel price committee on Sunday announced petrol and diesel prices for the month of April 2024.

Super 98 petrol will cost Dh3.15 a litre, compared to Dh3.03 a litre in March, while Special 95 will cost Dh3.03 a litre, compared to Dh2.92 a litre the previous month. E Plus 91 category petrol will be available for Dh2.96 a litre, compared to Dh2.85 a litre in March, while diesel will now cost Dh3.09 a litre, compared to Dh3.16 a litre the previous month.

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Globally, oil prices traded higher in March 2024 as compared to the previous month on a tighter supply outlook and heightened geopolitical risk. Crude prices settled at a four-month high during mid-March as the International Energy Agency projected a tighter market and also raised its own demand growth this year.

WTI crude was trading at $83.17 an ounce, up 2.24 per cent. While Brent was trading 1.86 per cent higher at $87.0.
Brent averaged around $84.25 a barrel in March 2024 as compared to $81.3 in the previous month. This $3 increase in average price in March is likely to be reflected in next few months.

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Announcements

Ian Bell to play for Meteora England Champions in World Champions League

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Meteora Developers, a trailblazing force in the business sector, has officially announced its acquisition of the esteemed England Champions cricket team, in partnership with Bollywood icon Jacqueline Fernandez. This strategic move positions the England Champions to enter the prestigious World Championships of Legends (WCL), signaling a historic convergence of cricketing legends and global fan engagement.

The announcement unfolded amidst a glitzy ceremony at Taj Downtown, Dubai, attended by former England captain, Ian Bell and other names from the sporting world

Meteora Developers’ founder and CEO, Mr. Praveen Sharma, expressed enthusiasm about the association with WCL and the ambitious goals for the England Champions. “Our entry into the World Championships of Legends is a pivotal moment for us. With cricketing greats like Ian Bell on our team, we’re poised to build a legacy that will captivate and inspire English fans globally. This is just the start of a thrilling journey,” Sharma asserted, hinting at a promising future for the franchise.

Cricket star Ian Bell, an integral part of the England Champions, underlined the significance of this venture for players and the sport. “Being part of the England Champions under the WCL is an extraordinary opportunity. The league’s innovative approach and the chance to play in England make this a truly exciting prospect. I’m eager to contribute to our team’s success and make our fans proud,” Bell commented, emphasising the players’ enthusiasm and commitment.

Harshit Tomar, CEO of WCL, delivered an impassioned overview of the league’s vision, emphasizing its commitment to redefine the global cricket landscape. Tomar warmly welcomed Meteora Developers and the England Champions into the WCL family, expressing high expectations for the collaboration. “This partnership promises to bring innovation and excitement to cricket, setting new benchmarks for excellence,” Tomar remarked.

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