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Pakistan looks to diversify ties with UAE

Gulf News logo Gulf News 21/01/2021 Sana Jamal, Correspondent

Islamabad: Pakistan looks forward to enhanced high-level engagements to deepen and diversify bilateral ties between Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the country’s foreign minister has said.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and ambassador of the UAE to Pakistan, Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al Zaabi, held a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday to discuss future ties and collaboration.

Recalling his successful visit to the UAE in December 2020, Foreign Minister Qureshi said that he looked forward to improved high-level interactions with the UAE as soon as the global health situation improved. He emphasised the importance of frequent high-level visits from both sides to provide impetus towards deepening and diversifying bilateral relations.

Trade, tourism and culture

Appreciating the UAE’s support for the Pakistan pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020 pavilion covering an approximate area of 3,500 sq. metres, he said: “The pavilion will exhibit Pakistan’s culture, investment opportunities and tourism potential in the largest exhibition ever staged in the Arab world” which is expected to attract 25 million people from 190 countries. The expo will help further strengthen Pakistan’s relationship with the UAE as well as the GCC states, he said. The UAE is home to more than 1.6 million Pakistanis – the second largest Pakistani expatriates’ community abroad.

The UAE is Pakistan’s largest trading partner in the Middle East and has supported Pakistan in the areas of education, health, energy and infrastructure development under the UAE-Pakistan Assistance Programme (UAE-PAP) launched in 2011 by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Pakistan always accorded paramount importance to its long-standing fraternal ties with the UAE, the foreign minister said, adding that the two countries have strong people-to-people linkages rooted in shared faith, values and culture.

Strong Pakistan-UAE ties

The UAE Ambassador Hamad Al Zaabi hailed the strong UAE-Pakistan relations and vowed to work towards further strengthening and diversifying the ties in all sectors for the benefit of the two countries and their peoples. He also acknowledged the positive contribution of the Pakistani diaspora towards the progress and development of the UAE. The ambassador reaffirmed the UAE’s desire to develop bilateral ties with Pakistan on the basis of mutual respect, understanding, and common interests.

Qureshi praised the historic Pakistan-UAE friendship and paid rich tributes to UAE’s founding father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who contributed immensely towards strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries.

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