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Welcome UAE mediation but no plans to meet Jaishankar, says Pakistan foreign minister

Pakistan’s foreign minister has welcomed mediation efforts by the United Arab Emirates between his country and India but has said that he was not planning to meet his Indian counterpart in the country, reports said on Monday.

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi are visiting the Gulf state at the same time.

Qureshi told UAE newspaper Khaleej Times that he was not planning to meet Jaishankar as the UAE visit was bilateral.

“I am here for a bilateral visit. I am not here for a India-specific agenda,” Qureshi told the daily, which published a video excerpt of the interview.

“We welcome third party facilitation … But no matter what friends like the UAE say the initiative has to be indigenous,” he added.

A senior Emirati diplomat said last week that the UAE is mediating between India and Pakistan to help the nuclear-armed rivals reach a “healthy and functional” relationship.

India’s foreign ministry spokesman had tweeted that Jaishankar’s discussions in the UAE would focus on economic cooperation and community welfare.

(With inputs from Reuters)