UAE played part in India-Pakistan cease-fire: Emirati ambassador to U.S.
Al-Otaiba acknowledged 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.”
United Arab Emirates played a role in getting longtime Asian rivals India and Pakistan to agree to a cease-fire amid tensions over the disputed region of Kashmir, said Yousef al-Otaiba the Emirati ambassador to the United States of America.
The comments by Yousef al-Otaiba come as the Emirates tries to recalibrate its diplomacy to Washington following U.S. President Joe Biden taking office. After enjoying a close relationship to President Donald Trump, the autocratically ruled UAE has sought to underline its importance in regional affairs as Biden has struck a harder tone with Saudi Arabia and suggested he wants to rejoin Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers.
Speaking in a video released on Wednesday by Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, al-Otaiba acknowledged an Emirati role in bringing the Kashmir escalation down between the two nuclear-armed nations.
That the UAE could be a trusted interlocutor isn’t surprising.
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 to 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 authorised to brief journalists, declined to say where these meetings took place.
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. The official also spoke on condition of anonymity as he wasn’t authorised to talk to reporters.