The Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi paid a three-day official visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on April 17-19, according to the statement issued by the Pakistani Foreign Ministry. On his arrival, Qureshi was welcomed by his Emirati counterpart, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The two top diplomats held detailed discussions after the delegation-level talks, the statement added.
Following the meeting, it was announced that the UAE extended the schedule for repayment of the $2 billion worth of credit given to Pakistan by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) in January 2019. The credit was granted to Pakistan for the use of boosting liquidity and overcoming the financial crisis that the South Asian country had experienced. The repayment had been originally scheduled for April 19, 2021.
The visit was the second visit of the Pakistani FM to the UAE in the last four months. According to the Pakistani Foreign Ministry’s statement, the two top diplomats discussed the ways for improving the bilateral relations, as well. It was also reported that Qureshi had invited his counterpart to visit Pakistan and the Emirati Foreign Minister delightedly accepted this invitation.
The two foreign ministers also touched upon some problems, including visa restrictions. Since last November, the UAE imposed sanctions on work visas for 13 countries’ citizens, including Pakistan. However, any progress regarding this issue has not been released until now. It is known that the UAE hosts almost 1.6 million Pakistani workers, and the remittances provided by these workers to their homeland are an important source of income for the Pakistani economy.
The issues related to the Afghan peace process and developments in the Jammu and Kashmir region were other topics that the two foreign ministers handled.