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ISLAMABAD: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has rolled over Pakistan’s repayment of $ 2 billion deposit by the Abu Dhabi Fund, the Foreign Office said on Tuesday. This was announced at the conclusion of a three-day official visit of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to the UAE, where he exchanged views on issues of mutual interest with Emirate leadership, including Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

“We greatly appreciate the UAE’s continued support and cooperation. The UAE’s decision to roll-over the US$ 2 billion deposit by the Abu Dhabi Fund, conveyed during Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s just concluded visit to the UAE is yet another manifestation of the close cooperative relations between the two countries,” Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said, in response to a question about the UAE’s decision to roll-over Pakistan’s US$ 2 billion deposit.

Earlier, before leaving for Iran, Foreign Minister Qureshi held meeting with his counterpart from the UAE Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Monday evening.

“Pronouncing the UAE’s decision to roll-over the USD 2 billion deposit by the Abu Dhabi Fund, Foreign Minister Abdullah affirmed the UAE’s commitment to extend every possible support to Pakistan,” the Foreign Office said in a statement issued here Tuesday.

Foreign Minister Qureshi thanked his counterpart, underscoring that the decision reflected the warm and brotherly ties between the two countries, it added.

It stated that the two foreign ministers held detailed discussions after the delegation-level talks.

Foreign Minister Qureshi appreciated the UAE’s progress and development over the last five decades.

He attributed this achievement to the sagacious and visionary leadership of the nation.

Foreign Minister Abdullah thanked him and acknowledged the valuable role played by Pakistani diaspora in the UAE’s growth and prosperity, the statement added.

“The foreign ministers reaffirmed their mutual desire to further strengthen cordial relations between the two countries,” it stated, adding that they reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations, discussing ways to enhance cooperation in diverse areas including trade, investment, infrastructure, energy, technology, tourism, and manpower.

Foreign Minister Qureshi outlined his plans for showcasing the history as well as the future potential of Pakistan-UAE cooperation at EXPO 2020 Dubai in October 2021.

The foreign ministers also discussed ways to provide fresh impetus to existing Pakistan–UAE ties.

In this regard, they agreed to facilitate ministerial-level visits from both sides.

Foreign Minister Qureshi lauded the positive contribution of Pakistani diaspora in the UAE towards the development and progress of both countries.

He emphasised the need for nurturing and strengthening people-to-people linkages, as well as removing impediments that hamper travel between the two countries.

Foreign Minister Qureshi thanked the UAE for its continued support and cooperation bilaterally, as well as at the international fora.

The foreign ministers also exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest.

Foreign Minister Qureshi briefed his counterpart on the grave human rights situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan’s consistent efforts to support the ongoing peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

Expressing sincere appreciation for the UAE’s warm hospitality, Foreign Minister Qureshi reiterated his invitation to Foreign Minister Abdullah to visit Pakistan at the earliest opportunity.

Foreign Minister Abdullah graciously accepted the invitation.

In addition to his official engagements, the foreign minister met Pakistan Business Council, members of Pakistani community, including investors and businessmen, in Dubai and interacted with local and international media in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

He also visited EXPO 2020 Dubai and the Pakistan Pavilion being set up to showcase the potential of Pakistan in the region’s biggest ever exposition organised by the UAE.

“Pakistan and the UAE enjoy close fraternal ties for almost five decades that are rooted firmly in common belief and shared values and culture,” the statement added.

The relationship is marked by high-level visits and interactions that provide continuous momentum to bilateral cooperation, it added.

This was foreign minister’s second visit to the UAE in the past five months.

Concluding his visit to the UAE from 17-19 April 2021, Qureshi departed the UAE for Tehran.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021