Pakistan asks UAE to resolve visas issue at the earliest
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Saturday met United Araba Emirates (UAE) State Minister Reem Al Hashimi and highlighted the difficulties being faced by Pakistani citizens regarding UAE visa, emphasising their resolution at the earliest possible.
The two foreign ministers, during the meeting held on the sidelines of the 47th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) in Niamey, Niger, exchanged views on bilateral cooperation, the COVID-19 situation, Pakistan’s participation in the Expo, and other matters
of mutual interest, a Foreign Office press release said.
Qureshi highlighted the close fraternal ties as well as people-to-people contacts between the two countries and stressed Pakistan’s commitment to forging closer cooperation with UAE in diverse fields.
Appreciating Foreign Minister Qureshi’s statement at the 47th CFM Session, the Emirati minister of state lauded Pakistan’s initiative to propose Organization Islamic Cooperation (OIC) resolution on combating Islamophobia.
The two sides also exchanged views on OIC matters and stressed the importance of further strengthening it as a united and pivotal platform for the Muslim Ummah. It was also agreed to enhance mutual exchanges to carry forward the process of growing bilateral cooperation.
Last week the FO had confirmed that the UAE had suspended the issuance of visas to Pakistani nationals among others, saying that the measure appeared to be because of the coronavirus pandemic but that it was seeking further clarity from Emirati authorities.
At the time, the FO had said the decision by the UAE authorities was "believed to be related to the second wave of Covid-19" but added that it had reached out to UAE to seek further clarity. The FO had, however, made clear that the suspension did not apply to those already holding valid visas.
On Thursday last, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Bukhari had denied reports of the UAE suspending work visas to Pakistanis, saying that there was "no ban on the export of Pakistani workforce".
FM @SMQureshiPTI met #UAE Minister of State Reem Al Hashimi on sidelines of #OIC47CFMNiamey.— Spokesperson 🇵🇰 MoFA (@ForeignOfficePk) November 28, 2020
Exchanged views on bilateral cooperation, #COVIDー19, 🇵🇰’s participation in the Expo & other matters of mutual interest. 1/2@MoFAICUAE pic.twitter.com/N1RxBnpROy
Bukhari said that "contrary to media reports", UAE Minister for Human Resources and Emiratisation Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli had "categorically stated that there was no ban on the export of Pakistani workforce".
Furthermore, the UAE was giving priority to those workers, who were registered on the Virtual Labour Market Database and had been laid off due to the economic slump caused by Covid-19, Bukhari said.