WORLD / MID-EAST
UAE helping calm tension between India and Pakistan
Published: Apr 15, 2021 06:58 PM
The United Arab Emirates' envoy to Washington confirmed the Gulf state is mediating between India and Pakistan to help the nuclear-armed rivals reach a "healthy and functional" relationship.

Top intelligence officers from India and Pakistan held secret talks in Dubai in January in a new effort to calm military tension over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, people with knowledge of the matter had said.

Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba said in a virtual discussion with Stanford University's Hoover Institution on Wednesday that the UAE played a role "in bringing Kashmir escalation down and created a ceasefire, hopefully ultimately leading to restoring diplomats and getting the relationship back to a healthy level."

"They might not sort of become best friends but 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," he said.

In 2019, India's prime minister withdrew Indian-­administrated Kashmir's autonomy in order to tighten his grip over the territory, provoking outrage in Pakistan and the downgrading of diplomatic ties and suspension of bilateral trade.

Otaiba also said that Pakistan should play a helpful role in Afghanistan, where the US plans to start withdrawing its troops on May 1 to end ­America's longest war.

The Emirati official voiced concern that an abrupt US withdrawal would constitute "reverse progress" by serving the interests of "the more illiberal forces" in Afghanistan.
blog comments powered by Disqus