ISLAMABAD: Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces, arrived in Islamabad on Thursday on a day-long visit, the Foreign Office said.
The visiting royal accompanied by a high-level delegation was received by Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Nur Khan airbase.
Al-Nahyan will hold a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan followed by a luncheon hosted by the premier, the foreign office said in a statement Wednesday night.
"The exchange of views between the two leaders will cover bilateral matters and regional and international issues of common interest, the statement added.
Islamabad said the visit illustrates the strength and substance of the Pakistan-UAE special relationship, based on commonalities of faith, cultural affinities, and a shared resolve to take mutual cooperation to a new level.
UAE is Pakistan’s largest trading partner in the Middle East and a major source of investments. The Gulf country is also among Pakistan’s prime development partners in education, health, and energy sectors -- hosting more than 1.6 million Pakistani expatriates, which contribute remittances of around $4.5 billion annually to the GDP, the foreign office said.
On Wednesday, the UAE ambassador to Pakistan, Hamad Obaid Al-Zaabi said in a statement that the visit will "further strengthen the bonds of friendship between the two brotherly countries" and that the two leaders will "discuss the ways to enhance bilateral relations between the two countries and exchange views on matters of mutual interest and regional and global situation."
The UAE crown prince last visited Islamabad in January 2019 upon PM Khan’s invitation.
Khan visited the UAE several times since August 2018 after assumed the country's top public office in order to secure financial assistance to tackle Pakistan’s economic crisis. The UAE pledged $3 billion in balance-of-payments support and oil supply on deferred payments.
During the prime minister’s visit to the UAE in November 2018, the two countries agreed to chalk out a comprehensive road-map to accelerate cooperation and partnership in areas specific to the trade, investment, economic development, energy, infrastructure, and agricultural sectors.
The UAE crown prince’s visit is part of growing bilateral exchanges. Last week, the UAE Culture Minister Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al-Nahyan met with PM Khan and President Arif Alvi in Islamabad.
“It was our endeavor to further strengthen the existing bilateral engagement at all levels and in all fields including trade, investment, energy, culture and tourism,” the president said after the meeting.
He also highlighted that 1.6 million Pakistanis living in the Emirates were a bridge between the two countries and contributed to the UAE’s development.