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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 November 2018

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed calls Imran Khan to discuss bilateral ties

The two leaders spoke on Monday afternoon

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, right, walks with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, left, on his arrival in Abu Dhabi in September. Mohamed al-Hammadi / Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi 
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, right, walks with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, left, on his arrival in Abu Dhabi in September. Mohamed al-Hammadi / Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi 

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, discussed bilateral ties with the Pakistani Prime Minister.

In a phone call on Monday, the two discussed a number of regional issues just months after former cricketer Imran Khan assumed office as Pakistan's prime minister.

The Pakistani leader visited Abu Dhabi in September where he met with Sheikh Mohammed on his maiden foreign visit to the country. The two leaders discussed Islamabad’s attempts at staving off a financial crisis.

The UAE and Pakistan have developed strong bilateral ties since Pakistan became the first country to recognise the UAE in its independence in 1971.

In 2011, the UAE established the UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme which has helped provide aid in the form of infrastructure development, education assistance and hospital donations.

The UAE also trains some of its military units in Pakistan.

Mr Khan has developed closer ties to both Saudi Arabia and the UAE, amid speculation that he would seek economic assistance from his Gulf allies rather than trying to reach a deal with the International Monetary Fund for its 13th bailout.

The UAE plays host to more than 1 million Pakistanis, representing the second-largest nationality in the country.

Mr Khan will attend Saudi Arabia’s investment conference this week and although he says he is shocked by the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, he feels he has to take the opportunity to seek friendly money for this country. Other participants have decided not to attend over the journalist's death.