Abu Dhabi’s prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who visited Pakistan alongside a high-level delegation on Thursday, directed the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development to allocate $200 million to support small and medium-sized enterprises in Pakistan.
The prince came across the Nur Khan Airbase earlier in the day where he was received by Prime Minister Imran Khan and various officialdom. The premier himself drove the crown prince to the PM House from the airbase. Setting aside the protocol the premier himself drove the crown prince to the PM House from the airbase.
Also because the regional and global situation, during the meeting, both the leaders discussed ways to reinforce bilateral relations between the two countries and exchanged views on matters of mutual interest, as well as the regional and global situation.
In a tweet via his official account, Sheikh Mohamed said that he met his “friend Prime Minister Imran Khan” and discussed “regional and international problems with mutual interest also as ways to reinforce bilateral ties”.
On the sidelines of his visit, the prince also directed the allocation of US$200 million to support economic projects in Pakistan.
“This initiative aims to encourage innovation in projects and support entrepreneurship, to help the Pakistani government’s efforts to form a stable and balanced national economy which will help achieve the country’s sustainable development,” reported Emirates press agency .
The prince had last visited Pakistan on January 6 in 2019, just weeks after his country offered $3 billion to support Pakistan’s battered economy
“It is additionally a part of the close ties between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Pakistan and therefore the keenness of their leaderships to strengthen and develop them, reflecting the development witnessed by their overall relations over the past decades,” the report added.
The premier’s visit to Riyadh had followed a visit to Bahrain where he was awarded the country’s highest civilian honor.
Pakistan was one of the primary countries with whom Prime Minister Mahathir shared his plans for holding the summit when he had met Prime Minister Imran alongside President Erdogan on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York in September last year.
When PM Imran went on a hurried tour to the state on December 15, just three days before the event, clouds of uncertainty began to loom over Pakistan’s presence at the summit.
Later, on December 17, the government had formally announced that it might not attend the event “at any level”. during a media talk, secretary of state Shah Mehmood Qureshi had confirmed that Saudi Arabia and the UAE were “worried that the event could cause ‘division in Ummah‘ and lead to setting up of an organisation parallel to the present Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)”. It merits a mention here that the OIC is under the influence of mega-rich kingdom.
The visit of His Highness the prince was the first by a foreign dignitary to Pakistan in 2020, and reflective of the special relations between Pakistan and UAE, which still grow deeper with the passage of time. Saudi Arabia and UAE were the first countries extending a financial bailout package to the government to deal with the balance of payment crises.