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Biden says progress on India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor could be reason for Hamas attack on Israel

Washington: US President Joe Biden has said that he is convinced that one of the reasons why Hamas launched a terrorist attack on Israel was because of the recent announcement during the G-20 Summit in New Delhi on the ambitious India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor that integrates the entire region with a network of railroad.

Israel has launched a massive counter-offensive against Hamas after unprecedented attacks by the militant group on October 7 killed more than 1,400 people.

Biden told reporters at a joint news conference with the visiting Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese that his analysis is based on his instinct and does not have any proof for this.

“I’m convinced one of the reasons Hamas attacked when they did, and I have no proof of this, just my instinct tells me, is because of the progress we were making towards regional integration for Israel, and regional integration overall. We can’t leave that work behind,” Biden said.

This is the second time in less than a week that Biden has mentioned the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC) as a potential reason for the terrorist attack by Hamas.

The new economic corridor, which many see as an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, was jointly announced by the leaders of the US, India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Italy and the European Union on the sidelines of the G20 summit in September.

The corridor comprises an eastern corridor connecting India to the Gulf region and a northern corridor connecting the Gulf region to Europe.

Biden said in the past few weeks, he has spoken to leaders throughout the region, including King Abdullah of Jordan, President Sisi of Egypt, President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia about making sure there’s real hope in the region for a better future about the need to work toward a greater integration for Israel while insisting that the aspirations of the Palestinian people will be part, will be part of that future as well.

(Published 26 October 2023, 06:01 IST)

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