FM Qureshi takes up visa issue for Pakistanis with UAE minister

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NIAMEY: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi stressed upon the need to address visa restrictions imposed by the United Arabs Emirates (UAE) government in a meeting with their Minister of State Reem Al Hashimi.

The meeting came on the sidelines of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) 47th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers being held in Niamey, Niger.

A statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday said Qureshi appraised Hashmi of the difficulties being faced by Pakistani citizens due to the recent visa restrictions. He underscored the need to address the issue at the earliest possible.

The FO said the two officials exchanged views on bilateral cooperation, coronavirus, Pakistan’s participation at the UAE Expo and other matters of mutual interest.

The foreign minister stressed Islamabad’s commitment to forge closer cooperation with the Emirates in diverse field.

The restrictions

Earlier this month, UAE stopped issuing new visas to citizens of 13 mostly Muslim-majority countries including Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Iran and Syria. 

A source briefed on the matter told Reuters the visas had temporarily stopped being issued to Afghans, Pakistanis and citizens of several other countries over security concerns, but did not provide details of those concerns.

“The suspension is not applicable on already issued visas,” the FO told Geo.tv on November 18. “The measure is believed to be related to the second wave of COVID-19. We are seeking official confirmation from the concerned UAE authorities in this regard.”

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