ABU DHABI, APR 20 (DNA) – The UAE has extended the repayment of a $2 billion deposit given to Pakistan by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) in January 2019 to boost liquidity and help overcome financial crisis faced by the South Asian country.

This was announced following a meeting between Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Khaleej Times reported Tuesday.

Islamabad was scheduled to repay $2 billion funds to ADFD by April 19, 2021. A total of $3 billion lifeline was deposited by the UAE with the State Bank of Pakistan in January 2019 to help fill current account deficit gap and improve foreign exchange reserves to support Pakistan’s currency.

Qureshi visited UAE on a three-day official visit and left UAE for Iran today as part of his regional visit. It was the Pakistani foreign minister’s second visit to the UAE in the last four months, reflecting growing bilateral relations and high-level contacts between the two countries.

Sheikh Abdullah affirmed the depth and strength of relations between the UAE and Pakistan, which, he said, are longstanding and based on mutual trust and respect.

The two sides discussed the ongoing cooperation between the two countries to stem the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, and ways of accelerating global synergy to address the impact of the disease and ensure the delivery of vaccines to all countries of the world.

The Pakistani foreign minister invited his UAE counterpart to pay an early visit to Pakistan, which he graciously accepted.

Qreshi thanked Sheikh Abdullah for this goodwill gesture and described it as a sign of growing bilateral relations between Pakistan and the UAE. He also expressed Pakistan’s enthusiasm for participation in Expo 2020 Dubai as it would provide an excellent opportunity to showcase itself to the world through the Pakistan Pavilion.

“Pakistan will take part in the Dubai Expo 2020 in October this year and showcase its history, geographical importance, civilisation, culture and vast business and tourism opportunities offered by the country,” Qureshi said during the meeting.

Qureshi also appreciated the UAE’s leadership for taking special care of Pakistani citizens during the coronavirus epidemic. The Pakistan foreign minister also appraised the problems faced by the Pakistani community, including difficulties in obtaining visas.

 He also briefed his UAE counterpart on the ongoing challenges faced by the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The two ministers discussed important regional and global issues of mutual interest, including the Afghan peace process and bilateral cooperation in international forums. = DNA