In a meeting with his UAE counterpart, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi highlighted the difficulties faced by Pakistani nationals in obtaining visas to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
According to a Foreign Office spokesman, on the sidelines of the 47th OIC Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Niger, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and UAE Minister of State Reem Al Hashimy met and discussed the need to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
The Foreign Office confirmed last week that the UAE had stopped issuing visas to Pakistani nationals as well as other countries.
A Foreign Office spokesman said the move appeared to be aimed at an outbreak of the coronavirus, but would seek further clarification from UAE officials.
In the meeting with the UAE Minister, the Foreign Minister highlighted the close fraternal relations and people-to-people contacts between the two countries and reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to close cooperation with the UAE in various fields.
According to the statement, “During the meeting, the two sides discussed bilateral cooperation, the situation at Cove 19, Pakistan’s participation in the Expo and other issues of mutual interest.”
— Spokesperson 🇵🇰 MoFA (@ForeignOfficePk) November 28, 2020
Appreciating Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s statement at the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers meeting, the UAE Minister welcomed Pakistan’s proposal for a resolution of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to address Islamophobia.
The two sides also discussed OIC issues and stressed the importance of further strengthening it as a united and fundamental platform for the Muslim Ummah, according to a Foreign Office spokesperson.
In addition, the two officials agreed to increase exchanges at a higher level to further accelerate bilateral cooperation.
It may be recalled that a few days ago, there were reports that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had temporarily suspended the issuance of new visas to citizens of Pakistan, Afghanistan and other Muslim-majority countries due to security concerns.
It did not say what the security concerns were but said the ban was short-lived.
Zulfi Bukhari later said in a Twitter statement that contrary to media reports, UAE Minister of Human Resources Nasir bin Thanwi Al-Hamli has made it clear that there are no restrictions on the export of Pakistani manpower.
He added that the UAE was giving preference to workers who were registered on a virtual labour market database and had been left out due to the economic crisis caused by CPVID-19.