Pakistan, UAE to boost ties Tuesday, November 25, 2008 Zardari, Khalifa hold wide-ranging talks ABU DHABI: President Asif Ali Zardari and UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan on Monday expressed their resolve to upgrade and further strengthen their existing bilateral ties, particularly in the trade and economic fields. Zardari arrived here on a two-day official visit on Monday. He was given a rousing red-carpet welcome when he arrived at the Amiri Airport. Sheikh Khalifa, in a rare gesture, received the Pakistani leader along with his cabinet members. Later, both the leaders drove to the Al-Mushef Palace for official talks in the same car. They held in-depth discussions, covering bilateral ties and regional and international issues of mutual interest. During the one-on-one and bilateral talks, the two sides agreed on the need to expand and strengthen their bilateral cooperation in diverse fields. President Zardari was assisted by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Adviser on Finance Shaukat Tareen, Adviser on Interior Rehman Malik, the BOI chairman and Ambassador at-large Javed Malik. In the delegation-level talks, there was unanimity of views on bilateral matters with focus on encouraging the UAE public and private investment in joint ventures in the fields of energy, agriculture, construction and infrastructure development. Zardari and the UAE president also discussed the peace and security situation in the region and stressed the need for joint efforts to improve the situation. Zardari said there was a need of increased coordination among the international community for promoting peace and security in the world. He said the world had turned into a global village and impacted by the incidents in Afghanistan and Iraq, so no one could remain indifferent. The UAE president showed his keen interest in the security situation of the region, particularly in Pakistan and Afghanistan. President Zardari mentioned the recent meeting of the Friends of Pakistan forum in Dubai and appreciated the efforts and role of the UAE in supporting Pakistan at the forum for the provision of financial assistance. The two leaders recalled the historic, brotherly and warm relations between Pakistan and the UAE at the people-to-people and leadership level, which were founded by Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The UAE president expressed the hope that these relations would further strengthen with Zardari in office. The two presidents recalled the farewell meeting between Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and Sheikh Khalifa when she left the UAE for Pakistan to launch a campaign for her party and participate in the general elections. They also mentioned the joint photographs of the leaders of the two families. President Sheikh Khalifa also hosted a lunch for Pakistani leader and his delegation. Later, in the evening the UAE president paid a courtesy call on Zardari at the Emirates Palace. The two leaders remained together for quite some time, exchanged pleasantries and discussed matters of bilateral interest. Member of the Pakistan delegation were also present in the meeting. Terming President Zardaris visit very successful, Adviser on Interior Rehman Malik said that the reception and hospitality exhibited by the UAE side, the UAE presidents rare gesture of receiving the Pakistani leader at the airport and paying a courtesy call after the official talks showed the close and warm relationship between the two leaders. During the course of discussion, he said, President Zardari expressed his desire for early transportation of the 400 megawatt power plant to Pakistan, which the UAE had already offered. Earlier, on his arrival at the Al-Mushef Palace, President Zardari was accorded a warm welcome. A smartly turned-out contingent of the UAE armed forces presented a guard of honour to the Pakistani leader. The national anthems of the two countries were also played on the occasion. During his two-day stay in Abu Dhabi, the president will also hold meetings with the heads and chief executives of UAE-based companies to seek investment in various sectors particularly in energy, agriculture and infrastructure.