New Delhi, Sep 9 (EFE).- The United States, the European Union, India and other countries whose leaders are meeting at the G20 Summit in Delhi, were expected to announce on Saturday a massive infrastructure project that will link South Asia, the Persian Gulf and Europe.
The G20 is made up of 19 of the world’s leading industrialized economies plus the EU.
The project aims to serve as a counterpoint to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, also known as the New Silk Road.
At a press conference, White House National Security Council Advisor Jon Finer announced that the mega-project would consist of a network of railroads and ports aimed at improving trade and energy flows between South Asia, the Persian Gulf and Europe.
The announcement will take place during an event to be attended by US President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders to promote the Global Infrastructure and Investment Partnership (GIIP).
According to EU sources, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen will also participate in the event and will highlight the “historic” project that will become the most direct connection to date between India, the Persian Gulf and Europe.
Leaders of the US, India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the European Union and other G20 partners will sign a memorandum of understanding outlining the mega-project’s objectives, Finer said.
Specifically, according to EU sources, the project will connect South Asia, the Persian Gulf and Europe through an electricity grid, a green hydrogen pipeline, a high-speed data cable and a rail link that will accelerate trade between India and Europe by 40 percent.
The initiative represents a small victory for the US, which has been trying to curb the influence of Beijing’s Silk Road, with which China has funded billion-dollar infrastructure projects around the world.
China has also increased its political influence in the Middle East in recent years, acting as an intermediary in the agreement signed in March by Saudi Arabia and Iran to re-establish diplomatic relations.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is not expected to attend the summit in Delhi, plans to receive leaders from around the world in Beijing in October, including his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, for a forum on the Silk Road.
Putin will also be absent from the G20 meetings in the Indian capital. EFE