Pakistan, UAE to jointly curb money laundering

* Both countries resolve to transform existing relations into a strategic long-term economic partnership

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sunday resolved to strengthen bilateral trade and economic ties, besides fostering cooperation to deal with transnational organized crime, including money laundering, drug trafficking and human trafficking.

Bilateral relations were discussed in meetings between UAE leadership and Prime Minister Imran Khan who paid a day-long visit to the Emirates at the invitation of Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of UAE Armed Forces, according to a Foreign Office statement.

On his arrival at the Presidential Palace, Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan received the prime minister and accorded a ceremonial reception which was followed by delegation-level talks.

In Dubai, the prime minister was received by Sheikh Muhammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai.

The prime minister also visited Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the Martyrs’ Memorial where he paid homage to Emirati heroes who had sacrificed their lives in the service of nation.

In the delegation-level talks with Crown Prince Sheikh Muhmmad bin Zayed, the two sides focused on all areas of bilateral, regional, and global interest. Expressing satisfaction at the positive trajectory of relations, the two leaders agreed to take immediate measures to further elevate their historic partnership. They expressed satisfaction over the fruitful outcome of the recent visit of a high-level UAE economic delegation to Pakistan and reiterated their resolve to transform the existing special relations into a strategic long-term economic partnership by adopting a direct, transparent and time-bound approach.

The two sides agreed to chalk out a comprehensive roadmap to accelerate cooperation and partnership in areas encompassing trade, investment, economic development, energy, infrastructure and agriculture with a view to accrue early dividends from the economic partnership.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayed decided to hold the next Pakistan-UAE Joint Ministerial Commission to be co-chaired by the respective foreign ministers in Abu Dhabi in February 2019. They further reaffirmed their commitment to hold the senior officials’ bilateral political consultations between the foreign ministries and fast track finalization of pending agreements at the earliest.

The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the ongoing defence and security cooperation and resolved to explore further collaboration in the areas of training, joint exercises and defence production. They noted that a key element of partnership between the two countries was the complete identity of views on regional and global importance. They reiterated their strong belief that only by espousing the principles of tolerance, inclusivity, non-interference and focusing on a people centric development agenda the region could attain sustainable peace and stability. They strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and expressed their resolve to work closely to root out the scourge. The crown prince recognized the efforts and unparalleled sacrifices made by Pakistan to eliminate terrorism and extremism.

Prime Minister Imran Khan briefed the UAE leadership about his government’s people-centric reform agenda, including the steps being taken to eliminate corruption and promote transparency, and accountability at all levels of government. He reiterated Pakistan’s readiness to actively participate in Expo 2020 and extend full support to the UAE in making the mega event a great success.

Acknowledging the contribution of Pakistani professionals as well as skilled and unskilled workers in the development of UAE, the two sides agreed to enhance cooperation on all labour related issues. The prime minister was accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and others.

Published in Daily Times, November 19th 2018.