Pakistan, UAE ‘always stood with each other shoulder to shoulder’: Foreign Minister Qureshi

ABU DHABI — Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates are “tested strategic partners,” Pakistan‘s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Friday.

“We always stood with each other shoulder to shoulder,” he added in a press conference, thanking the UAE for its support for his country in difficult times.

Qureshi arrived to the UAE Thursday on a two-day visit and held several meetings with Emirati leaders.

“I had a very good meeting with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Our discussions were focused on bilateral relations, on the opportunities that exist between Pakistan and the UAE in trade and investment,” he said about the meeting that discussed promoting investment and enhancing trade, particularly in the field of agriculture.

“I thanked him for the support we have received from him over the years and I thanked the UAE for the support that we have received in difficult times,” he added. “We always stood with each other shoulder to shoulder. We are tested strategic partners and we will remain so.”

Qureshi had also met with H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in Abu Dhabi.

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“We had a discussion on several issues, bilateral relations and on evolving regional situation,” the Pakistani minister said. “I also shared with him the progress that we have made in the Afghan peace process.”

Talking about the Pakistani diaspora in the UAE, which is the second biggest Pakistani community outside home, Qureshi said his compatriots have contributed significantly to the UAE’s progress and development, adding that it is acknowledged and appreciated by the UAE.

The foreign minister also expressed Pakistan‘s keenness to be an active partner in Expo 2020 Dubai. “Pakistan is not just keen to participate, we are also thankful for the support that we have received in our pavilion.”

Qureshi also denied the recent media reports that claimed a meeting between Israeli and Pakistani officials took place. “There have been no meetings. The Pakistan Foreign Office has clarified that in a very categorical statement.”

Pakistan’s position regarding Israel is unchanged. We have a position, which is known to everyone. We have been supporting UN resolutions and supporting a two-state solution and I will stand by that. We have not moved an inch,” he added.

On the Afghan peace process, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister said, “We believe in regional stability, we believe in peace. We feel that we are fulfilling an international responsibility. Peace in Afghanistan is an international desire and Pakistan has made a significant facilitating role, which is being appreciated.”


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