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Jaishankar to visit UAE amid reports of backchannel talks with Pakistan

S. Jaishankar. File.  

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar will visit Abu Dhabi on Sunday, the Ministry has said. The visit comes in the backdrop of reports that the United Arab Emirates has been holding back channel talks to restart dialogue between India and Pakistan.

“At the invitation of his counterpart, Mr. Jaishankar will be visiting Abu Dhabi on Sunday. His discussions will focus on economic cooperation and community welfare,” said Arindam Bagchi, official spokesperson.

The announcement came within hours of declaration from Pakistan that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is visiting the UAE for three days from Saturday. Islamabad has said Mr. Qureshi will discuss “regional issues” with the UAE leadership. It is not clear if there will be an unexpected ice-breaking moment between the two sides in the UAE.

While Pakistan has welcomed the reports of third party mediation, India has maintained silence as it goes against the traditional position on diplomacy with Pakistan. India maintains officially that issues with Pakistan are of a bilateral nature that has no space for third party mediation or intervention. UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited Delhi on February 26 in what turned out to be a quiet consultation. He did not meet the media and left after meeting Mr. Jaishankar.

India is also concerned about the re-employment of the large number of the working force who lost their jobs in the midst of the pandemic in the Gulf. A large number of them returned to Kerala. India has maintained that it is coordinating with Gulf countries to ensure continued employment of its citizens. This issue is also expected to feature in the discussion in the UAE.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 8:56:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/jaishankar-to-visit-uae-amid-reports-of-backchannel-talks-with-pakistan/article34346428.ece

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