Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation met with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on December 17. The latter paid a two-day visit to the UAE. Weighed in on the strengthening relations between the two countries over the past few decades, Sheikh Abdullah reassured that the recent restrictions imposed on the issuance of visas due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic were temporary. The Office in Islamabad said in a statement, “Qureshi was assured that the visa restrictions were temporary in nature and were imposed due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.”
The United Arab Emirates had last month temporarily stopped issuing new visas to citizens of Pakistan and at least 11 other mostly Muslim majority countries. During their exchange, Sheikh Abdullah also praised the Pakistani community for their contribution to the growth of the country, stating that more than 1.5 million Pakistanis enjoy a life of safety and stability in the UAE. “The close relations between the UAE and Pakistan have continued to be strengthened over the past decades and translated into multifaceted cooperation, which represents a unique case in Arab-Asian relations in the region, as political relations between the UAE and Pakistan are based on a long history of joint action, trust and respect,” Gulf News quoted him as saying.
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Recalling that Pakistan was among the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the UAE, Sheikh Abdullah said the two countries and their people share strong historical ties since a long time. He noted, “The UAE and Pakistan enjoy close relations and historical ties across political, economic, cultural and social domains, established on solid foundations of mutual friendship and respect.” He concluded that UAE and Pakistan share mutual interests and vision on the issues of regional and international importance through the principles of tolerance, inclusiveness and an agenda based on development to ensure peace and stability in the region.