Crown prince of Abu Dhabi departs Islamabad after day-long visit

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces, leaves Islamabad after his one-day long visit to Islamabad on Jan.06, 2019. (Photo courtesy: UAE Embassy Pakistan)
Updated 07 January 2019
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Crown prince of Abu Dhabi departs Islamabad after day-long visit

  • Government’s talks with the UAE on setting up an oil refinery in Pakistan “reached final stage” during visit
  • Implementation of 40 development and humanitarian projects worth $200mn launched in the country

ISLAMABAD: Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan departed from the capital after his day-long official visit to Pakistan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan received the crown prince at the Nur Khan airbase in Rawalpindi where an artillery unit honored him with a 21-gun salute, and the PM himself drove his guest to the Prime Minister House.

A Pakistani minister, speaking to Associated Press (AP), says the government’s talks with the UAE on setting up an oil refinery in Pakistan “reached their final stage” during the visit of the crown prince.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr. Mohammad Faisal said on Sunday: “The crown prince, upon the invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan, is visiting Pakistan after nearly 12 years.”

“This is the third interaction between the leadership of the two countries in less than three months, a testimony to the special nature of brotherly relations with the GCC country,” the statement added.

PM Khan, in order to acquire financial assistance to tackle Pakistan’s economic crisis, has visited the UAE twice since assuming office in August. In return, the UAE pledged $3billion in balance of payments support and oil supply on deferred payments.

“We are hoping the crown prince’s visit will result in Pakistan getting oil on a deferred payment facility, forex assistance to ease balance of payment’s difficulties, preferred investment contracts for UAE firms willing to work in Pakistan and cooperation on exchange of information on Pakistani persons holding assets in the UAE,” Dr Vaqar Ahmed, an economist who is also the joint executive director of a think-tank named Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), told Arab News.

During PM Khan’s visit to the UAE in November, the two countries agreed to chalk out a comprehensive roadmap to accelerate cooperation and partnership in areas specific to the trade, investment, economic development, energy, infrastructure, and agricultural sectors.

PM Khan and Sheikh Mohammed had also decided to hold the next Pakistan-UAE Joint Ministerial Commission, to be co-chaired by the respective Foreign Ministers, in Abu Dhabi, in February next month.

“A new page is being turned between both countries, $3 billion support to new Pakistani government proved to be a lifeline for the incumbent fiscal year,” Qamar Cheema, a strategic and political analyst, told Arab News.

“Pakistan needs to develop strategic partnership with the UAE as it’s too important to be ignored,” Cheema added.


Ex-Goldman banker to finish Malaysia legal process before US extradition

Updated 27 min 57 sec ago
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Ex-Goldman banker to finish Malaysia legal process before US extradition

  • Goldman’s role is under scrutiny as the Wall Street titan helped arrange $6.5 billion in bonds for 1MDB
  • Authorities in Malaysia and the US accuse former employees of bribery and stealing billions of dollars

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: A former Goldman Sachs banker accused of involvement in the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB scandal will only be extradited to the United States after legal proceedings against him in Malaysia are completed, a minister said.
Huge sums of public money were purportedly stolen from Malaysian state fund 1MDB and used to buy everything from yachts to art in a scheme that allegedly involved former premier Najib Razak and contributed to his government’s election defeat.
Goldman’s role is under scrutiny as the Wall Street titan helped arrange $6.5 billion in bonds for 1MDB. Authorities in Malaysia and the US accuse former employees of bribery and stealing billions of dollars, and investigators believe cash was laundered through the US financial system.
Malaysian Ng Chong Hwa, a former managing director at the bank, was indicted in November when US authorities also lodged an extradition request. He has been in custody in Malaysia since the US indictment.
Malaysia also filed charges against Ng, more commonly known as Roger Ng, as well as Goldman.
At a court hearing last week, Ng agreed to stop fighting the extradition request and said he wanted to be sent to the US within 30 days.
But Malaysia’s government must approve his extradition, and Interior Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said Ng’s case in Malaysia must go ahead first.
“We will honor the extradition but we will prioritize the case in Malaysia until it is completed. This is the advice of the attorney-general, and we will abide by it,” Yassin said.
Ng’s case will likely come before the Malaysian courts again next month, he said.
Ng was charged in Malaysia in December with four counts related to 1MDB, and has pleaded not guilty. He faces up to 40 years in jail if convicted.
As well as Ng, former Goldman partner Tim Leissner and the bank’s subsidiaries are also accused of making false statements in order to steal billions of dollars, and of bribing officials.
Leissner has already pleaded guilty in the US to 1MDB-linked charges.