ISLAMABAD : Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said on Tuesday that Pakistan greatly counts on its close brotherly relations with UAE.Both countries have supported each other on most of the issues in all the international fora which is a sign to bilateral trust and confidence.The Prime Minister was talking to Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayad Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister of UAE here at PM’s House this evening.The Prime Minister thanked the government and people of UAE for their assistance to Pakistan during the recent floods and in 2005 earthquake.The Prime Minister also acknowledged the government of UAE’s funding of projects in the earthquake areas of Muzaffarabad and Rawlakot by stating that he would be inaugurating one of the hospital in Rawlakot early next week.
The Prime Minister while underlining the importance of frequent high level exchanges in the past said these interactions had played primary role in bringing the two countries ever closer.He extended his formal invitation to the President and Vice President of UAE to undertake official visits to Pakistan at mutually convenient time in the future.
The Prime Minister stated that UAE has been one of the major source of financial direct investment in Pakistan particularly in the petroleum, banking and telecommunication sectors.He invited UAE investments in other fields especially in the thermal and hydro-power sectors. He also solicited UAE government’s support for Abu Dhabi Development Funds in the Nelum-Jhelum Hydro-power project as well as UAE investment entities in the Thar-coal projects.The Prime Minister stated that UAE has been one of the largest partner of Pakistan in terms of volume of trade which requires sustained efforts to ensure its gradual increase. He urged the UAE government to encourage its business sectors for buying more from Pakistan for its domestic market as well as for re-export to other countries to help generate new jobs in Pakistan at this critical juncture.
The Prime Minister also solicited UAE government’s support for signing Free Trade Agreement with Gulf Cooperation Council countries which he said will pave the way for increased commercial activities between Pakistan and the Gulf region.He also called for increased recruitment of Pakistani doctors, engineers, as well as skilled and semi-skilled persons from Pakistan.The Prime Minister expressed his satisfaction over the on-going defence cooperation between Pakistan and UAE and acknowledged UAE’s assistance in this field. He nevertheless, stated that this cooperation in the future could be extended in the areas of joint exercises, training facilities in each others institutions and joint venture in defence protection sectors.Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayad Al Nahyan Foreign Minister of UAE said that UAE and Pakistan have always had very strong relations both at people to people level as well as between the leadership of the two countries.He said that UAE is pleased to see the resilience of the people as well as efforts of the government of Pakistan to face challenges and move forward. He specifically mentioned that during his conversation with a world leader in a recent conference in Lisbon, he had informed his interlocutor that a political history was in the making in Pakistan and the present democratic government of Pakistan would complete its tenure without any coup or snap elections.
The credit to bring the country out of the economic crunch, he added, also goes to the present government, which had proved the dooms tellers of international financial circles wrong about Pakistan’s resilient and robust economic sector because of the pragmatic and realistic economic reforms.Sheikh Abdullah al Nahyan expressed his satisfaction over the resolution of pending issues relating to PTCL takeover and steady progress of Refinery (RIPA) which are landmark Projects of friendship between the two countries. He said that UAE government would find ways to finance the Khalifa Coastal Refinery and the Port projects in the near future.Referring to UAE government’s gift of two power plants to Pakistan, Sheikh Abdullah said that his government was planning to allocate US $105 million for the upgradation and installment of these plants to be installed in Faisalabad for enhancing the power generation capacity.
He also agreed with the Prime Minister’s proposal for fast-tracking the disbursement of UAE pledged assistance to help Pakistan in its national strategy for rehabilitation of flood affectees back to their homes. On Prime Minister’s proposal for construction of bridges to connect the three provinces of the country, Sheikh Abdullah promised that his country will extend necessary support for undertaking these projects.He also pledged to pursue Pakistan’s case for FTA with GCC countries and assured the Prime Minister of positive results in this regard by next year.The Minister for Interior Rahman A. Malik, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan and Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir were also present on the occasion – App