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UAE says it played role in bringing down tensions between India and Pakistan

The United Arab Emirates played a role in bringing down the tension between India and Pakistan and getting their bilateral ties back to a “healthy functional relationship”, Emirati ambassador to the US Yousef al-Otaiba has said.

“They might not sort of becoming 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,” Al-Otaiba said during a virtual discussion with Stanford University’s Hoover Institution on Wednesday.

India and Pakistan in a surprise announcement said on February 25 that they have agreed to strictly observe all agreements on a ceasefire along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and other sectors.

Al-Otaiba himself brought up the issue while responding to a question, acknowledging his country’s role in “bringing Kashmir escalation down” between the two neighbours.

“We try to be helpful where we have influence with two different countries. So, India and Pakistan was the most recent one…,” he said.

“We don’t think they are going to become the most favoured nation to each other, but I think it’s important for them to have a healthy functional relationship,” he added.
In New Delhi, asked about media reports that backchannel talks between India and Pakistan were going on for more than a year, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi did not give a direct reply.

“If you talk about channels of communication on this issue, let me just recall that our respective high commissions exist and are functioning. So that is a very effective channel of communication,” Bagchi said on April 9.
Ties between India and Pakistan nose-dived after an attack on the Pathankot Air Force base in 2016 by groups allegedly based in the neighbouring country.

Subsequent attacks, including one on the Indian Army camp in Uri, further deteriorated the relationship.

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