UAE envoy in Pakistan says Sheikh Mohammed’s visit “historic and helpful”

UAE envoy in Pakistan says Sheikh Mohammed’s visit “historic and helpful”
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces, left, talking to the UAE ambassador to Pakistan Mr. Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Alzaabi (R) before the departed Islamabad on January 06, 2019. (Photo courtesy: UAE Embassy Pakistan)
Updated 07 January 2019

UAE envoy in Pakistan says Sheikh Mohammed’s visit “historic and helpful”

UAE envoy in Pakistan says Sheikh Mohammed’s visit “historic and helpful”
  • Abu Dhabi crown prince, PM discussed issues of economic cooperation during day-long trip
  • Will be followed up with a two-day joint committee meeting in February

ISLAMABAD: UAE ambassador in Pakistan said on Sunday that the one-day visit by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, was “historic and helpful” for both the countries.

“It was a historic visit and would help strengthen bilateral relations between both the countries,” Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Alzaabi told Arab News in an exclusive interview shortly after Sheikh Mohammed’s visit to Islamabad.

The crown prince held a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Prime Minister Office. Later, both the sides also discussed issues of “mutual interest” in the delegation-level talks. The crown prince had last visited Pakistan in January 2007.

“The discussions between the crown prince and prime minister were important, focusing primarily on economic issues,” the ambassador said, adding that “both the sides have agreed to work closely in the future.”

Ambassador Hamad said that Sheikh Mohammed and PM Khan also discussed measures for “planning of an economic roadmap between the UAE and Pakistan,” besides investment opportunities in both the countries. “We want to make this bilateral relationship more sustainable and to reinforce the strategic relationship between both countries,” he said.

Answering queries about potential investments, the ambassador said that “no agreements and no announcements” have been made for anything so far.

“A lot of things, including the setting up of an oil refinery in Pakistan and many other investment opportunities are still under discussion,” he said.

The ambassador said that both the countries have the potential and opportunities for investment, and “it is decided to encourage businessmen in Pakistan and UAE for the investment”.

The ambassador said that a joint committee meeting -- led by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his UAE counterpart -- will be held in Abu Dhabi on February 14-15 to “build further on the crown prince’s visit and discuss other important things of mutual interest”.

PM Khan visited the UAE twice, after assuming office in August, to seek economic assistance to ward off the country’s foreign exchange crisis. In the last week of December, the UAE announced plans to deposit $3 billion in the State Bank of Pakistan to support the country’s financial and monetary policies.

Besides the direct financial support, the UAE has also invested in numerous development projects in Pakistan. “Under the latest directives issued by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the implementation of the projects has begun in Pakistan at a cost of $200 million,” the UAE Embassy in Pakistan tweeted on Sunday.

According to the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis, nearly 1.6 million expats work in the UAE and send more than $4.5 billion annual remittances to the country.

“Pakistan and UAE are brotherly countries and our bilateral relationship will help each other in economic prosperity and progress,” the UAE ambassador added.