ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will discuss the ‘financial package’ with the United Arab Emirates leaders during his ongoing visit, officials said.

Qureshi is originally in the UAE to attend the Bani Yas Forum where the changing environment of Middle East and efforts to bring peace in the region are being discussed.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammed Faisal said that Qureshi will apprise the participants on Pakistan's position on Middle East. “During the visit, the Foreign Minister will also hold meetings with the leadership of the UAE and other countries,” he added.

Pakistan is expecting a financial package from the United Arab Emirates amid the economic crises. UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited Islamabad this month to meet Qureshi and discuss the package.

The foreign ministry had then said: “The two sides also agreed to meet on the sidelines of Sir Bani Yas Forum in Abu Dhabi.”

Senior officials at the foreign ministry told The Nation that Qureshi will discuss the ‘financial package’ with the UAE leaders during his stay.

One official said: “The package is expected and talks are ongoing.  The FM will hold bilateral talks on the economic crises with the UAE leaders.”

Another official said: “The bilateral meetings were scheduled for the same reason. We are finalizing a package from the UAE.” 

Last month, Foreign Minister Qureshi had said that Pakistan had requested a Saudi Arabia-like deal from the UAE to stabilise the economy.

He said Islamabad had urged the friendly country to provide a ‘fiscal space’ to Pakistan amid the economic crises. He said Pakistan wanted to counter International Monetary Fund’s tough conditions through support from the friendly countries.

“We may still have to go to the IMF but we have to be in a reasonable position. If we are weak (and need more money) there will be tougher conditions. This will put burden on the general public. We are working to have some base before (we go into talks with) the IMF,” he said.

A high-level UAE delegation comprising senior officials of major companies, including Mobadla Petroleum, ADIA (Sovereign Wealth Funds), Etisalat, DP World, Dubai Investment Authority, Emaar Company, Aldahra Agriculture and Abu Dhabi Fund for Development had met the Foreign Minister in October.

The visit was a follow up of the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s official visit to Abu Dhabi on September 19 and his understanding with Crown Prince Sheikh Muhammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to forge closer economic, trade and investment relations between the two countries in all areas of common interest.

Last month, Saudi Arabia had agreed to provide $3 billion for one year as balance of payment support and a further one-year deferred payment facility for oil payments up to $3 billion. Economists calculated the impact of the support at $12 billion.

The PM will visit Malaysia on November 20 to discuss economic issues with Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad.

An IMF team is already visiting Pakistan to negotiate the programme, likely to cover a period of three years. The Institute of International Finance in its latest report said a potential IMF programme for Pakistan could be valued at $15 billion. The IIF expects an agreement on a three-year IMF programme of $15 billion by end of this year. However, Finance Minister Asad Umar now believes $6-7 billion from the IMF could settle the economic crises.