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On April 14, 2021, the UAE ambassador to the US, Yousef Al OTAIBA said in a virtual discussion with Stanford University’s Hoover Institution that the UAE played a role “in bringing Kashmir escalation down and created a ceasefire, hopefully ultimately leading to restoring diplomats and getting the relationship back to a healthy level”.

He 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”.

Intelligence officers from India and Pakistan held secret talks in Dubai in January 2021 in a new effort to calm military tension over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters news agency.

India’s relations with the UAE had improved after the end of the Cold War and have now progressed to the point where both sides are considering a defense relationship.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood QURESHI’s visit in UAE was the first to be announced on April 17, 2021. It was followed a few hours later by Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam JAISHANKAR also announcing his visit. If that appeared like a coincidence, sources insisted it was not.

Relations between India and Pakistan have been frozen since a suicide bombing of an Indian military convoy in Kashmir in 2019. In the same year, India withdrew Indian-administered Kashmir’s autonomy, tightening its grip over the territory and provoking outrage in Pakistan and the downgrading of diplomatic ties and suspension of bilateral trade.

In February, the Indian and Pakistani armies announced a sudden and rare reaffirmation of a 2003 ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control (LoC), the de facto border dividing the Kashmir region between India and Pakistan.

Days later, Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Javed BAIJA called on the two arch-rivals to “bury the past” and move towards cooperation. The prime ministers of the two nations have exchanged letters, saying they want “cordial relations”.

Ambassador Al OTAIBA also said Pakistan should play a “helpful” role in Afghanistan, where the US want to start withdrawing US troops on May 1, 2021.

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