Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan during the meeting with Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: The UAE and Pakistan have always supported one another in difficult times and will continue to do so, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Pakistani Foreign Minister, said in the capital on Friday.

Addressing the press on the second day of a two-day visit to the UAE, Qureshi said he had productive discussions with UAE leaders. “I had a very good meeting [on Thursday] with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and we had a good discussion on not just our bilateral relations, [but] the opportunities that exist between Pakistan and the UAE for trade and investment. I thanked him for the support we have received over the years, and I thank the UAE for the support. In difficult times, we have always stood with each other shoulder to shoulder, and we are tested strategic partners and In Sha Allah will remain so,” Qureshi said.

Evolving regional situation

The foreign minister added that he had discussed bilateral relations and the evolving regional situation during a meeting with his UAE counterpart, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. “We had a discussion on a host of issues — bilateral relations, the evolving regional situation. I also shared with him the progress made on the Afghanistan peace process [in which Pakistan is playing a facilitative role],” Qureshi said. “The Pakistani community has contributed significantly to UAE’s progress, and it is appreciated and acknowledged, and we are grateful for that,” he added.

On Thursday, Sheikh Mohammed hailed the role played by members of the Pakistani community working in all development sectors, and their effective contributions in the development and renaissance journey witnessed in the UAE. Qureshi arrived in the UAE on Thursday, and left for Abu Dhabi after meeting with Sheikh Mohammed. He had earlier visited in January to attend the ninth Sir Bani Yas Forum, which discussed issues related to the Middle East.

Importance of the visit

In a statement, the Pakistan Foreign Office had underscored the importance of the visit. “Pakistan and the UAE enjoy historic fraternal relations, rooted firmly in shared history, common faith, values and mutual respect. High-level visits are an important feature, which not only exhibit cordial ties between the two countries but also accord the leadership an opportunity to give further impetus to strengthening bilateral cooperation on a wide range of issues,” the statement said.

UAE is home to the second-largest Pakistani community abroad, with more than 1.4 million overseas Pakistanis living in the country.