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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi visited Pakistan on January 2.
"The UAE unwaveringly supports peace, stability and dialogue in the Indian subcontinent for the benefit of the people," His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, told Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan during their meeting on Thursday in Pakistani capital Islamabad.
Also see: Sheikh Mohamed praises Pakistan
The region has great strategic importance for security in Asia and the world, as well as the Arabian Gulf region, the official news agency WAM quoted the Crown Prince as saying.
On his first official foreign visit in 2020, the Crown Prince and the Prime Minister of Pakistan discussed friendly Emirati-Pakistani relations and ways to develop them in the Middle East, the Arabian Gulf, the Indian subcontinent and the Islamic world. The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi had last visited Pakistan on January 6 in 2019.
In a tweet through his official account after his one-on-one meeting with the Pakistani prime minister, Sheikh Mohamed said he met his "friend Prime Minister Imran Khan" and discussed "regional and international issues of mutual interest as well as ways to enhance bilateral ties".
Khan received him and personally drove him from the airport.
At the meeting, Sheikh Mohamed and Khan greeted each other and the people of each other's countries on the New Year, and wished 2020 to be a year of peace and development.
Affirming the depth of relations and bonds of friendship that unite the UAE and Pakistan, Sheikh Mohamed lauded Pakistan's strong role in maintaining regional peace and security, as well as its strategic role in the Arabian Gulf, especially in light of the deep historical, cultural, geographical, and social ties that have bound both sides for hundreds of years.
Sheikh Mohamed also announced $200 million for SMEs in Pakistan.
Sheikh Mohamed said Pakistan is an essential pillar of joint work within the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and underlined the UAE's support for the organisation and the role it plays in serving the cause of the Islamic world.
He praised Pakistan for its keenness to maintain unity in the OIC, which embodies Islamic values that call for cooperation, peace and acquaintance, and which rejects hate, extremism and violence of all kind.
Khan appreciated the UAE's support for Pakistan's economy and development. He thanked Sheikh Mohamed for his keenness to enhance bilateral relations supporting development and peace, both regionally and internationally.
The UAE is Pakistan's largest trading partner in the Middle East and a major source of investments. The UAE is also among Pakistan's prime development partners in education, health and energy sectors. It hosts more than 1.6 million expatriate Pakistanis, who contribute remittances of around $4.5 billion annually to the GDP. Their trade volume in 2018 amounted to Dh11.8 billion.
Relations between the UAE and Pakistan have gone from strength to strength over the past few years. High-level visits between the leaders of Pakistan and the UAE signify the importance the two countries attach to their fraternal ties, Pakistan's Foreign Office said.
A high-level delegation accompanied the Crown Prince.
UAE's Ambassador to Pakistan, Hamad Obaid Al Zaabi, while announcing the trip, had said it would be a day-long official visit for "strengthening the bonds of friendship between the two brotherly countries". - [email protected]
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