About 24 hours after military chiefs from India and Pakistan surprised the world last month with a rare joint commitment to respect a 2003 cease-fire agreement, the top diplomat of the United Arab Emirates popped over to New Delhi for a quick one-day visit.
The official UAE readout of the Feb. 26 meeting gave few clues of what Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed spoke about with Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, noting they “discussed all regional and international issues of common interest and exchanged views on them.”
After the cease-fire, the UAE was one of a handful of countries to issue a statement welcoming the cease-fire announcement, highlighting the “close historical ties” it has with both India and Pakistan and hailing “the efforts made by both countries to come to this agreement.” In Washington, State Department spokesman Ned Price dodged a question on what role the U.S. played in bringing the two sides together while urging Pakistan to play a constructive role in Afghanistan, Kashmir and other places.
“Obviously Pakistan has an important role to play when it comes to Afghanistan and what takes place across its other border,” Price said on Feb. 25. “So clearly, we will be paying close attention.”