UAE prince for opening communication channels

Updated March 01, 2019

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PM Imran Khan in conversation with Shaikh Mohamed bin Zayed during a visit to the UAE in Septemeber. —File photo courtesy Shaikh Mohamed bin Zayed's Twitter account
PM Imran Khan in conversation with Shaikh Mohamed bin Zayed during a visit to the UAE in Septemeber. —File photo courtesy Shaikh Mohamed bin Zayed's Twitter account

ISLAMABAD: With international efforts for defusing tension between Pakistan and India intensifying, UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Thursday spoke to the prime ministers of both countries.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan received a telephonic call from UAE Crown Prince H.H Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan today evening,” the Prime Minister Office said in a statement.

In his conversations with PM Khan and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Crown Prince Zayed emphasised that both countries de-escalate and open channels of communication, including regular bilateral dialogue so that outstanding issues could be addressed, according to Emirati official sources.

Take a look: 'Real statesmanship': Twitter erupts in praise over PM Khan's decision to release Indian pilot

He told Mr Khan and Mr Modi that the United Arab Estates supported better ties between both countries for ensuring peace and stability in the region. He expressed the hope that the leaders of both countries would engage in dialogue to address their problems.

Speaks to prime ministers of Pakistan, India; Turkish president calls Imran, appreciates decision to release IAF pilot

According to the PM Office, Prince Zayed praised Mr Khan’s “statesman-like speech” in a joint session of parliament as well as his willingness to resolve all issues in a peaceful manner.

Later, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also called Prime Minister Khan.

“President Erdogan congratulated the prime minister on his speech at parliament and his statesman-like offers to India for de-escalating the situation and working towards peace. He said that Islam is a religion of peace that underscores resolving disputes in a peaceful manner,” the PM Office said.

President Erdogan appreciated the announcement by the prime minister to release the captured Indian Air Force pilot and pointed out that this gesture was a sign of strength.

Mr Khan had earlier told the joint session of parliament that he would urge President Erdogan to play his role in de-escalating the situation.

The prime minister briefed the Turkish president on the situation that evolved over the past few days and the efforts he made to de-escalate the crisis. He also referred to the extremely difficult situation in India-held Kashmir and the brutalities inflicted upon the Kashmiri people.

Prime Minister Khan thanked President Erdogan for his constant support for Pakistan and the Kashmiri people.

Both leaders agreed that Mr Erdogan’s visit to Pakistan for the Pakistan-Turkey High Level Strategic Cooperation Council meeting would provide an opportunity for an in-depth overview of bilateral relations and the way forward.

Prime Minister Khan underscored that “Pakistan is the one country that will always stand by Turkey”. He said his country wanted peace and this should not be considered a weakness, adding that he had attempted to contact Indian Prime Modi on Wednesday to call for de-escalation.

Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2019