SRINAGAR: Admitting to having played a role in getting India and Pakistan to agree to a cease-fire, UAE’s ambassador to the United States of America Yousef al-Otaiba has said they were behind “in bringing the Kashmir escalation down”.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, UAE Foreign Minister, with his counter Dr S Jaishanker in Delhi on February 26, 2021.

“We try to be helpful where we have influence with two different countries,” al-Otaiba told HR McMaster, a former national security adviser to Trump. “India and Pakistan was the most recent one.” He was virtually speaking to an event at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

American newsgathering agency, Association Press quoted Al-Otaiba acknowledging in his remarks that Pakistan and India “might not sort of become best friends,” but that such communication is important.

“At least we want to get it to a level where it’s functional, where it’s operational, where they are speaking to each other, where there’s lines of communication,” al-Otaiba said. “That’s our goal.”

He said: “You know we don’t think they’re going to become, you know, Most Favoured Nations with each other, but I think it’s important for them to have a healthy, functional relationship, which is exactly our objective.”

Offering an idea about why the UAE played a role, the news agency said that the federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula home to Abu Dhabi and Dubai has a large expatriate workforce of Indians and Pakistanis across both blue-collar and white-collar jobs. Emirati sheikhs maintain close relations with both countries because of it.

“In Pakistan, a security official told The Associated Press the UAE did play a role in brokering the cease-fire. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he wasn’t authorized to brief journalists, declined to say where these meetings took place,” the AP reported. “An Indian security official told the AP the two countries had decided to keep the talks “secret and low key.” But he described the UAE’s role as providing “nothing but the venue” in Dubai.”


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