BU DHABI, UAE – Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif arrived in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday for a crucial day-long visit aimed at strengthening trade and investment relations between Pakistan and the Gulf nation. This visit, his first to the UAE since assuming office after the February 8 general elections, underscores the significance of Pakistan’s ties with the UAE.

Warm Reception in Abu Dhabi

Upon his arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Prime Minister Shehbaz was warmly received by UAE Vice President and Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The welcoming delegation included Pakistani Ambassador to the UAE Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, Emirati envoy to Pakistan Hamad Obaid Ibrahim, and senior officials from both countries, highlighting the importance of this high-level visit.

In a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter), PM Shehbaz described his visit as “short but important,” expressing his eagerness for a “fruitful exchange of views with the UAE leadership” to deepen the historic and brotherly ties between Pakistan and the UAE.

High-Level Delegation

Accompanying the prime minister on this visit are key cabinet members, including Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi, Information Minister Attaullah Tarar, Commerce Minister Jam Kamal Khan, and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi. The presence of these high-ranking officials underscores the visit’s focus on strategic discussions and the strengthening of bilateral relations.

Agenda for the Visit

During his stay, Prime Minister Shehbaz is expected to hold comprehensive discussions with UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. According to a press release from Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO), the talks will primarily focus on enhancing trade and investment ties between the two nations. The FO noted that the discussions would aim to deepen the multifaceted collaboration, emphasizing the long-standing fraternal relations between Pakistan and the UAE, which are rooted in shared religious and cultural affinities.

Economic and Investment Focus

The FO highlighted that PM Shehbaz’s itinerary includes meetings with other prominent Emirati dignitaries, business leaders, and heads of financial institutions. These interactions are expected to explore new avenues for economic cooperation and investment, reflecting the commitment of both countries to boost their economic partnership.

Historical Context and Recent Developments

This visit follows a series of high-level exchanges between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, including two significant visits by Pakistani officials to the kingdom in April. PM Shehbaz’s current trip to the UAE also builds on his previous engagements with the Gulf nation. In July 2023, during his previous term as prime minister, he visited the UAE to offer condolences on the death of Sheikh Saeed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the brother of the UAE President. Earlier in January 2023, he embarked on a two-day trip to strengthen economic, trade, and investment ties with the UAE.

Strengthening Bilateral Ties

The frequent high-level exchanges between Pakistan and the UAE underscore the robust and evolving relationship between the two countries. These visits highlight the commitment of both nations to enhance their strategic partnership, particularly in the areas of trade and investment. The FO emphasized that such high-level engagements are a “distinguishing feature” of the brotherly ties between Pakistan and the UAE, reflecting a mutual desire to bolster economic cooperation and cultural ties.



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