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India, Pak Foreign Ministers to be in UAE Today, Deny Speculations of Meeting

File photo of External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.

File photo of External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.

Jaishankar is likely to focus on India-UAE economic cooperation during his meeting with Emirati Foreign Minister.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi who will be in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over the weekend, however, both countries have denied claims of meeting on Saturday.

Hours after Qureshi began his three-day visit to the UAE, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi took to Twitter and announced that Jaishankar would visit Abu Dhabi on April 18 at the invitation of his UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

In the wake of acknowledgment by a senior Emirati diplomat about the UAE’s role in facilitating secret talks between India and Pakistan, this announcement triggered speculation about a meeting between Jaishankar and Qureshi, Hindustan Times reported.

Reportedly, a person familiar with bilateral developments said that Jaishankar’s visit is “purely bilateral”. And his engagements in the UAE are “only with dignitaries”. “He will be discussing some pressing economic and community welfare issues related to Covid-19.”

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Reported, in Islamabad, Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said that “No such meeting is scheduled during foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s ongoing visit to the UAE.”

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first published:April 18, 2021, 08:15 IST