UAE, Pakistan Accelerating Defense Cooperation

Both countries’ leaders espouse identical approach on various issues of regional and global importance.
PKONWEB Report (Islamabad) — Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Defense Production Ms. Zubaida Jalal on Tuesday received UAE’s Head of the Executive Directorate of Industries and Development of Defense Capabilities Ministry of Defense, Major General Staff Pilot Ishaq Saleh Al-Balushi, in the capital.

During the meeting, they discussed relations between the UAE and Pakistan and ways to enhance them in various defense fields. They also reviewed a number of issues of mutual interest.

A number of senior officials from both sides attended the meeting.

Pakistan is manufacturing and selling weapons to over 40 countries, bringing in substantial amount of foreign exchange annually (estimated $200m in 2018) specially with sale of Mushshak trainer aircraft and JF-17 Thunder fighter jets.

In May last year, it signed an agreement with Bahrain to export locally manufactured light armored vehicles called ‘Interceptor’.

The meeting with UAE takes place weeks after Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited Pakistan in the first week of this month–12 years since his last visit in 2007. Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan personally thanked the Crown Prince for his visit and for extending financial assistance to cash-strapped and debt-ridden Pakistan.

In December, the UAE deposited $3 billion in the State Bank of Pakistan to support the bank’s liquidity and foreign currency reserves. The move has been seen as an affirmation of the UAE’s commitment since the time of the UAE Founding Father, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, to stand by Pakistan.

Imran Khan has made two trips to UAE since assuming power in August 2018, and Sheikh Mohamed’s visit to Pakistan was the third interaction between the leadership of two countries in less than three months.

According to state news agency WAM, PM Khan thanked the UAE government for its support to Pakistan in his tweet after the Crown Prince’s visit, adding: “The two leaders discussed various issues of regional and global importance. The identical approach on these issues forms the basis of lasting and reliable friendship.”

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