From Marseille to India, the “Silk Road” railway project was announced between Europe and Asia – Liberation

On the sidelines of the G20 Summit this weekend, several countries inaugurated the launch of an extensive railway network project connecting ports in Europe, the Middle East and India, with American investment.

The reorganization of world trade continues. On the occasion of the G20 Summit, held in New Delhi on the weekend of September 9 and 10, the United States pushed for the implementation of a major project: the creation of the G20 countries. “corridor” logistics, connecting India to Europe across the Middle East.

An agreement in principle to this effect was signed on Saturday between the United States, the European Union, India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, France, Germany and Italy, announced in a White House press release. “This is very important”commented US President Joe Biden, describing this agreement as“historical”. Meanwhile, Emmanuel Macron hopes to put Marseille in its place “bridge head” European construction site, boast “skill” French company in the field of transport and energy

“We want to launch a new era connected by rail networks, connecting ports in Europe, the Middle East and Asia”, added the White House. The goal: to create “commercial node”all come in “encouraging the development and export of environmentally friendly energy”. An initiative welcomed by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who said “green and digital bridge between continents and civilizations”.

In addition to the railway network, partner countries intend to install undersea cables. But also a hydrogen corridor, which will mainly connect the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to the port of Haifa in Israel, then to European ports.

“It’s impossible to be a partner”

Although very focused on trade, the project is also purposeful “advancing integration in the Middle East”including them “unlikely partners”, commented Jake Sullivan, White House National Security Advisor. The corridor, which would pass through the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel, could for example develop contacts between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which are long-standing enemies.

According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this project “will reshape the face of the Middle East”. “Israel will bring all its capabilities, all its experience and its full commitment to make this collaborative project the largest in our history“, he added.

India welcomed the partnership on Monday “strategic” with Saudi Arabia. “Our cooperation is important for peace and stability throughout the region”underlined Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling Saudi Arabia one of his “most important strategic partner”.

At the end of the meeting, Joe Biden approached the Indian Prime Minister and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to shake hands together. A symbolic gesture, one year after the controversial “examination” between the American president and the crown prince.

Against the “new silk road”

With this announcement, Joe Biden is also trying to fill the empty space left by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who, like Vladimir Putin, was absent from the G20. Because if currently the implementation schedule for this infrastructure project is still unclear, then this could offset the “new silk road”. A program launched ten years ago by Xi Jinping, and through this program Beijing made massive investments in a number of developing countries to build infrastructure.

In June, Joe Biden condemned the Chinese project and called it out “debt and foreclosure program”. If the corridor is new “realize, that will change the rules of the game”assessed in a message about X (former Twitter) Michael Kugelman, expert at the Wilson Center in Washington.

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