ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) resolved to strengthen bilateral trade and economic ties, besides fostering cooperation to deal with transnational organised crime, including money laundering, drug and human trafficking.
The bilateral ties were discussed in the meetings between the UAE leadership and Prime Minister Imran Khan who paid a day-long visit to the Emirates, on the invitation of Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of UAE Armed Forces, according to a Foreign Office statement.
The prime minister was accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
On his arrival at the presidential palace, Sheikh Nahyan received the prime minister and accorded a ceremonial reception followed by delegation-level talks.
In Dubai, the prime minister was received by Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai.
The prime minister also visited Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the Martyrs’ Memorial where he paid homage to Emirati heroes, who had sacrificed their lives in the service of the nation.
In the delegation-level talks with Crown Prince Sheikh Nahyan, the two sides focused on all areas of bilateral, regional, and global interests.
Expressing satisfaction at the positive trajectory of relations, the two leaders agreed to take immediate measures to further elevate their historic partnership.
They expressed satisfaction over the fruitful outcome of the recent visit of a high-level UAE economic delegation to Pakistan and reiterated their resolve to transform the existing relations into a strategic long-term economic partnership by adopting a direct, transparent and time-bound approach.
The two sides agreed to chalk out a comprehensive roadmap to accelerate cooperation and partnership in areas encompassing trade, investment, economic development, energy, infrastructure and agriculture, with a view to accrue early dividends from the economic partnership.
PM Khan and the crown prince decided to hold the next Pakistan-UAE Joint Ministerial Commission, to be co-chaired by the respective foreign ministers in Abu Dhabi in February 2019. They further reaffirmed their commitment to hold the Senior Officials’ Bilateral Political Consultations between the foreign ministries and fast track finalisation of pending agreements.
The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the ongoing defence and security cooperation, and resolved to explore further collaboration in the areas of training, joint exercises and defence production.
They noted that a key element of partnership between the two countries was the complete identity of views of regional and global importance.
The two leaders reiterated their strong belief that only by espousing the principles of tolerance, inclusivity, non-interference and focusing on a people-centric development agenda, the region could attain sustainable peace and stability.
They strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and expressed their resolve to work closely to root out this scourge.
The crown prince recognised the efforts and unparalleled sacrifices made by Pakistan to eliminate terrorism and extremism.
The Pakistan premier paid rich tribute to the founder and first President of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, for his foresight and visionary leadership, and his contribution towards laying the foundation of Pakistan-UAE friendship.
The founding president of UAE, the prime minister recalled, was a sincere friend of Pakistan and had had great love in his heart for the country and its people.
The people of Pakistan reciprocated that love, and continued to hold him and the UAE leadership in high esteem, he added.
Khan further lauded the progress achieved by the UAE in fostering tolerance, inclusive economic development, innovation, and youth and women empowerment. In particular, he appreciated the UAE’s success in promoting tourism, and leveraging technology for improved governance.
The prime minister thanked the UAE and its leadership for their continued commitment to Pakistan’s socio-economic development in the shape of Pakistan Assistance Program.
He also thanked the Abu Dhabi crown prince for his support in eradicating polio from Pakistan.
Khan briefed the UAE leadership about his government’s people-centric reform agenda, including the steps being taken to eliminate corruption and promote transparency, and accountability at all levels of government.
“Pakistan reiterated its readiness to actively participate in Expo 2020 and extend full support to the UAE in making the mega event a great success,” the statement read.
“Pakistan offered the UAE the services of its information technology professionals and skilled labour, in preparing for Expo 2020.”
Acknowledging the contribution of Pakistani professionals as well as skilled and unskilled workers in the development of UAE, the two sides agreed to enhance cooperation on all labour-related issues.
This was the second visit of PM Khan to the UAE in as many months, which underscored the strength and substance of the Pakistan-UAE relations based on the spirit of mutual affection and deep trust, and rooted in age old civilisational, religious, cultural and commercial affinities.
Thanking the UAE leadership for the warm welcome and hospitality, the Pakistan prime minister extended his invitation to Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to visit Pakistan on mutually convenient dates, who happily accepted it.