New Delhi (NVI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will travel to Abu Dhabi today amid reports of UAE holding backchannel talks to restart dialogue between India and Pakistan.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is already there. He reached UAE last evening. Jaishankar’s visit will coincide with the Pak FM’s visit as the latter began his three-day visit to the UAE yesterday. It will be a major development, considering the tensions between the two countries after the 2019 Pulwama terror attack
Notably, no meeting took place between the two foreign ministers at the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference tomorrow in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe.
MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi had yesterday tweeted on the EAM’s visit. “At the invitation of his counterpart, EAM @DrSJaishankar will be visiting Abu Dhabi on 18th April 2021. His discussions will focus on economic cooperation and community welfare,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, there is no confirmation of any planned meeting between Jaishankar and Qureshi. But significantly, UAE has reportedly been trying to broker peace between India and Pakistan. Backchannel meetings have reportedly taken place in UAE because of which adherence to the 2003 border ceasefire between India and Pakistan was agreed upon.
Jaishankar is also expected to be meet his UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and discuss the repatriation of Indian workers in the country, which may be held due to the massive Covid surge in India.
A large number of Indian workers also lost their jobs during the pandemic phase in the Gulf. A large number of them returned to Kerala. The Indian government is also concerned about their re-employment.
UAE Foreign Minister Al Nahyan had also visited India on February 26 and met Jaishankar in Delhi.