Pak PM thanks UAE for flood assistance - GulfToday

Pak PM thanks UAE for flood assistance


Shahbaz Sharif and Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al Zaabi hold talks in Islamabad on Friday.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter / Reuters

The Ambassador of the UAE, Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al Zaabi, called on Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Friday.

The prime minister reaffirmed the importance Pakistan attached to its fraternal relations with the UAE and extended best wishes for the continued progress and prosperity of the brotherly people of the UAE.

The prime minister highlighted the extensive devastation caused by the recent floods across Pakistan and the response of the government to address the dire situation.

In this regard, the prime minister expressed gratitude for the relief assistance provided by the UAE for the flood-stricken people and for establishing an air corridor to provide humanitarian assistance.

The prime minister added that Pakistan was committed to further deepen its relations with the United Arab Emirates in all areas of common interest.

Pakistan and the UAE enjoy close fraternal ties for five decades that are rooted firmly in common belief and shared values and culture.

The UAE is Pakistan’s largest trading partner in the Middle East and a major source of investments.

Meanwhile, Washington rolled over an agreement to suspend service payments on $132 million of Pakistan’s debt, the US embassy in Islamabad said, after devastating floods exacerbated the South Asian nation’s economic crisis.

Severe floods engulfed large swathes of the country in late August, killing more than 1,500 people and causing damage estimated at $30 billion. The devastation fanned fears Pakistan would not meet its debt obligations.

The US ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome signed the agreement to extend the loan relief under the G20 debt service suspension initiative, the embassy said in a statement, adding: “Our priority is to redirect critical resources in Pakistan.”

The rollover is related to the Paris club agreement in April 2020 to support 73 lower income countries during COVID-19, under which the United States provided relief on $128 million in debt to Pakistan.

The agreement to suspend payments on that debt, plus an additional $4 million, has now been rolled over again.

Islamabad also sought a roll-over of $2 billion in Chinese deposits to its reserves, said a statement from Pakistan Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s office after his meeting with Chinese envoy Nong Rong.

It said Dar sought the ambassador’s support in facilitating the roll-over of SAFE China deposits of $US2 billion due in March 2023.

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