My visit to strengthen UAE, Pakistan ties: FM Qureshi


DUBAI – Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Sunday said his visit to United Arab Emirates would strengthen existing bilateral ties of both the countries.

Speaking at a press conference here, he said that he would hold a meeting with the Foreign Minister of UAE (United Arab Emirates) today (Monday).

He clarified that he had no meeting scheduled with the Foreign Minister of India Jaishankar.

He said a mega event would be organised by Pakistan in Sharjah in October this year to showcase the hidden treasures of Pakistan. At the event, professionals among the Pakistani community in UAE would be invited, he said.

The event would highlight the role played by the Pakistani community in the progress and prosperity of UAE, he said adding, he would invite Prime Minister Imran Khan to the mega event.

Qureshi said Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates would complete their 50 years long friendship.

Both the countries were making an effort to organise different programmes at the completion of the 50 years of brotherly diplomatic relations, he informed.

He said that he visited the venue of expo 2020 and was impressed with the facilities offered there.

The events at expo 2020 would coincide with the National Day of the United Arab Emirates, he said.

He said the government wanted to give the right to vote to the overseas Pakistanis and it was consulting with other political parties on the issue. “We want that overseas Pakistanis should have a role in Pakistani politics and policy making,” he said.

The foreign minister said both India and Pakistan would have to think about their bilateral ties. Pakistan never evaded talks and wanted to live in peace with all its neighbours including India, he stressed.

The foreign minister said Pakistan was ready to talk with India if it took back its steps of August 5, adding, Pakistan could not ignore the Kashmir issue.

The Foreign Minister said he had telephonic contact with the Afghan Foreign Minister, adding the Afghan peace process had entered an important stage and a number of countries were making efforts for securing peace in Afghanistan and in this regard Turkey will also hold a conference and it will be our wish that Taliban should attend the talks.

All stakeholders related to the Afghan issue should work together to decide the future of Afghanistan, he opined.

Qureshi said Pakistan would continue to play a positive conciliatory role as a facilitator in the Afghan peace process.

He said in his talks with the Afghan Foreign Minister, they discussed the situation arising after the announcement about the United States troops withdrawal from Afghanistan.

He said Iran was an important brotherly country and Iranian Foreign Minister visited Pakistan on four occasions.

Iran was a neighbour of Afghanistan and had an interest in the Afghan peace process and it will state its position during the conference, he noted.

The minister said positive efforts were made to resolve issues between countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council and now the situation was improving.

During his visit in December last year, in his meeting with UAE foreign minister he raised the issue of difficulties faced by Pakistanis in getting visas and now the situation was better for getting family visas, he observed.

To a question, the minister clarified that there was no formal back channel contact between Pakistan and India.

There was no need for a back channel and India should come to the negotiating table and discuss the issues of Kashmir, Sir Creek and water, he added.

He emphasized that India should stop oppressing Kashmiris before coming to the table for talks.

He stated that overseas Pakistanis were a great asset for the country as they send their hard earned money back home and help keep the national economy stable.

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