Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed has invited foreign ministers of India and Pakistan to UAE, in what is believed to be the second round of backdoor diplomacy. Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has reached Abu Dhabi while Indian foreign minister Dr. Jai Shankar will arrive tomorrow.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi reached Abu Dhabi today evening while the Indian Ministry of External Affairs tweeted today that Jai Shankar will be visiting Abdu Dhabi on 18th April.
When Pakistan foreign office was asked about the possibility of a meeting between the two foreign ministers, spokesperson Hafeez Chaudhry said “No such meeting is scheduled.” Analysts believe that one on one meeting might be considered too early for the two foreign ministers due to existing tense environment. However, chances of exchanging greetings over a royal dinner cannot be ruled out.
The envoy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Washington has confirmed on Wednesday that the Gulf state is mediating between India and Pakistan to help the nuclear-armed rivals reach a “healthy and functional” relationship.
Reuters news agency reported that top intelligence officers from India and Pakistan held secret talks in Dubai in January in a new effort to calm military tension over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.
Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba said that the UAE played a role “in bringing Kashmir escalation down and created a ceasefire, hopefully ultimately leading to restoring diplomats and getting the relationship back to a healthy level”.