Pakistan Gets Payment Relief as UAE Rolls Over $2 Billion Loan

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The United Arab Emirates has rolled over the pending payment of a $2 billion loan by Pakistan, amid a three-day visit of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to the nation.

The payment relief, announced by Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri in a Twitter post, comes days after the South Asian nation reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund on a resumption of a $6 billion bailout program.

Having averted a financial crisis just two years ago, Pakistan finds itself with little room for policy errors due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The central bank expects the economy will expand by around 3% in the year to June, after a rare contraction in the previous 12 months.

Qureshi started a three-day official visit to the UAE on Saturday, while his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar was due to arrive in the nation on Sunday, government officials said. The two were due to meet separately with their Emirati counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, weeks after it was revealed the Gulf monarchy had brokered secret talks between the rivals.

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