At the conclusion of the visit, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, who is also deputy supreme commander of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Armed Forces, instructed the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development to allocate the $200 million aid…reports Asian Lite News
During his day-long trip to Pakistan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan extended a $200 million aid to support the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) projects the South Asian country.
After he arrived in Islamabad on Thursday, the Crown Prince held wide-ranging talks with Prime Minister Imran Khan, focusing on bilateral, regional and international issues, reports The Express Tribune.
At the conclusion of the visit, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, who is also deputy supreme commander of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Armed Forces, instructed the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development to allocate the $200 million aid.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed becomes the first foreign dignitary to visit Pakistan in 2020.
Sheikh Mohamed affirmed the depth of relations and bonds of friendship that unite the United Arab Emirates and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, pointing to 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 stressed the UAE’s unwavering stance in supporting peace, stability and dialogue in the Indian subcontinent for the benefit of the people, and added that the region has great strategic importance for security in Asia and the world, as well as the Arabian Gulf region.
Sheikh Mohamed pointed out that 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 important role it plays in serving the cause of the Islamic world.
He went on to praise Pakistan for its keenness to maintain unity in the OIC, as it is the comprehensive institutional framework for Islamic countries around the world, which embodies Islamic values that call for cooperation, peace and acquaintance, and which rejects hate, extremism and violence of all kind
The visitwas seen as significant against the backdrop of recent developments, particularly the Kuala Lumpur Islamic Summit.
Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE expressed reservations over the summit since they viewed the initiative as an attempt to create a new Islamic bloc.
Pakistan pulled out of the summit at the last minute in order to, what it insisted, maintain neutrality in the Muslim world.
Soon after the summit, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan visited Islamabad to renew Riyadh’s commitment to the long term and strategic partnership with Pakistan.
Around 1.6 million Pakistanis are working in the UAE in the industrial, agricultural and investment sectors.
The UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme, UAE PAP, which was launched in 2011, aims to help the Pakistani people overcome the effects of destructive floods that hit their country in 2010. This project represents progress in supporting the development and stability of Pakistan.
In January 2019, the administration of UAE PAP began implementing 40 development and humanitarian projects in Pakistan, under the framework of the third phase of the project worth AED736 million (US$200 million), funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.
The implementation of the project’s third phase is in continuation of the projects carried out by UAE PAP. Its first and second phase projects launched in various Pakistani regions from 2011 to 2017 totalled 165 individual projects costing AED1.545 billion ($420 million).
The programme’s third phase projects comprised five key areas, which are roads and bridges, education, health, water and agriculture. It also aims to provide humanitarian aid, including through the distribution of food aid to poor and needy people and displaced citizens, and the launch of polio vaccination campaigns for children.
In implementation of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a polio eradication campaign carried out by the UAE in Pakistan from 2014 to September 2019 provided 418,956,226 polio vaccinations to over 71 million Pakistani children under the age of five.
The two countries have signed 28 agreements and Memorandums of Understanding, MoU, most notably various agreements on avoiding double taxation, an agreement to promote and protect investments, and several agreements to cooperate in combatting crime and terrorism, as well as many judicial, political, commercial and cultural agreements.