The country’s foreign minister told that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) decided to extend a $2 billion loan to Pakistan. The country’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan told Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a meeting.

Moreover, the Foreign Office said in a statement on April 20. Besides rolling over the loan, Nahyan also affirmed UAE’s commitment to “extend every possible support to Pakistan”. The Abu Dhabi Fund deposited the loan. Qureshi thanked Nahyan for the decision, saying it “reflected the warm and brotherly ties” between the two countries. FO spokesperson Z.H.Chaudhri said the UAE’s decision was “yet another manifestation of the close cooperative relations between the two countries”. “We greatly appreciate the UAE’s continued support and cooperation,” he added.

Furthermore, Qureshi and his UAE counterpart held detailed discussions during the foreign minister’s three-day visit to the Gulf state. During the meeting, Qureshi emphasised the need to “remove impediments that hamper travel between the two countries”. Despite decision on loan, Qureshi and Nahyan reiterated their desire to strengthen ties between Pakistan and UAE. The two parties reviewed all aspects of the bilateral relationship and discussed ways to enhance cooperation in diverse areas.

Additionally, Qureshi appreciated the positive contribution of Pakistani citizens residing in the UAE towards development in both countries. In November last year, the UAE banned work visas for Pakistani nationals. The restrictions were attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic, but many believe that the move was based on security considerations. There were also reports of Pakistani expatriates facing difficulties in the renewal of their permits and other instances of discrimination. The UAE foreign minister told the country’s decision to roll over $2bn loan to Pakistan during the meeting. Besides, he acknowledged the “valuable role” played by the Pakistani diaspora in UAE’s progress and prosperity.

Nevertheless, Qureshi outlined his plans for showcasing the history and the future potential of Pakistan-UAE cooperation. The foreign ministers also exchanged views on regional and international developments. Also, Qureshi briefed his counterpart on the human rights abuses in occupied Kashmir and Pakistan’s efforts for Afghan peace process. Both ministers agreed to facilitate ministerial-level visits from both sides. While Nahyan extended loan, Qureshi also extended an invitation to the UAE foreign minister to visit Pakistan which he accepted. The meeting with the UAE foreign minister was Qureshi’s last engagement on his three-day visit to the country.

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