U.S. strikes transportation deal linking India with Middle East

The United States said Saturday it has struck a deal with India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the European Union on building a shipping and rail transportation link between South Asia and the Middle East that would eventually be extended to Europe.

The accord on the project, viewed as a counter to China's signature Belt and Road global infrastructure initiative, was reached in New Delhi on the sidelines of a two-day summit of the Group of 20 major countries from Saturday.

The transportation link will enable the flow of commerce, energy and data from India across the Middle East to Europe through high-quality, sustainable infrastructure that "fills a damaging global gap and enables greater prosperity and better connectivity," said Jon Finer, U.S. deputy national security adviser.

Ahead of the G-20 summit, U.S. President Joe Biden agreed with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday in the Indian capital to advance defense cooperation and efforts to maintain a free Indo-Pacific.

© Kyodo News