World News

UAE's Sheikh Mohammed, PM Khan hold "wide-ranging talks"

UAE's Sheikh Mohammed, PM Khan hold

He last visited Pakistan in January 2007.

The crown prince met Prime Minister Imran Khan and other top officials as both countries seek to capitalise on the fresh momentum in ties due to a flurry of recent contacts at the leadership level.

Commonly known as MBZ in the Middle East as well as in the U.S. and West, the Crown Prince is a reformist, actively seeking to improve the life of UAE citizens. Both the sides discussed bilateral relations and matters of mutual, regional and worldwide interests.

The UAE delegation was led by Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has said Chinese President Xi Jinping has asked him not to reveal the amount.

The Crown Prince, who is on a day-long visit to the country after almost 12 years, was received by Mr. Khan upon his arrival at Nur Khan airbase in Rawalpindi, Dawn reported.

"It will be the third interaction between leaders of the UAE and Pakistan within the last three months which is a testimony to the special nature of our brotherly relations with this important GCC country".

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The two leaders underscored the importance of effectively pursuing the various initiatives taken for a strengthened and strategic bilateral relationship including working on a "long-term investment framework agreement". Premier Khan led the Pakistani delegation comprising Qureshi, Umar, Chaudhry, Afridi and Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, while Sheikh Mohammed led the UAE side. He in turn introduced his delegation to the prime minister.

A joint statement issued after the royal's visit said Prime Minister Khan thanked the crown prince for the "generous" balance-of-payments support of $3 billion, which appears to have materialised first out of the total financial package.

Al Nahyan, who is also deputy chief of the UAE's armed forces, "will have a one-on-one meeting" with Khan, the statement said. A mechanism about it would be formed by the two countries, he added.

Professor Tahir Malik, a foreign affairs analyst, said that Pakistan's relations with the UAE had soured during the previous PML-N government's rule and "it is heartening to see the leadership of both the countries forging the bilateral relationship again".

The UAE is the country's largest trading partner in the Middle East.

"The UAE has already announced three billion dollars cash support to help Pakistan overcome its balance of payment crisis while the provision of an oil facility on deferred payment is under discussion", he added. The funds covered projects in sectors such as energy, health, education and roads. It is home to more than 1.6 million expatriate community which contributes around $4.5 billion annually to the GDP, a press release said earlier.


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