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.


US takes back $100 million from Afghan govt over corruption

Updated 33 min 10 sec ago

US takes back $100 million from Afghan govt over corruption

  • Pompeo said the US will still finish the massive project that involves five power substations
  • He blamed the “Afghan government’s inability to transparently manage US Government resources.”

KABUL: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Washington is taking back $100 million intended for an Afghan energy infrastructure project, citing unacceptably high levels of corruption in the Afghan government.
In the harshly worded statement Thursday, Pompeo said the US will still finish the massive project that involves five power substations and a maze of transmission lines in southern Afghanistan. It just won’t be spending the money through Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government, blaming the “Afghan government’s inability to transparently manage US Government resources.”
This follows an earlier statement, also from Pompeo, calling for “credible and transparent presidential election” when Afghans go to the polls Sept. 28.
The 2014 presidential election was marred by allegations of massive fraud, as was last year’s parliamentary vote.