ISLAMABAD President Asif Zardari Monday turned down the request of the UAEs Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan seeking extension in deadline for the evacuation of the Shamsi Airbase. Shamsi Airbase was leased to the UAE several years ago, but is being used by the US for drone attacks in tribal areas. The UAE foreign minister was told that the decision was taken by Defence Committee of Cabinet (DCC) after NATO attacks on two posts and Pakistan can not back out from it, private TV channels quoted sources as saying. The decision to seek UAEs mediation shows the importance of the airbase for the US. In the past it has been claiming that the facility was not being used for drone attacks. APP adds: The UAEs Foreign Minister Monday called on President Asif Zardari at Aiwan-e-Sadr and discussed with him wide range of bilateral issues. The one-on-one meeting of the UAE Foreign Minister with the President was followed by a delegation-level meeting. Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Ms Hina Rabbani Khar and Federal Minister for Interior Rehman Malik and other senior officials were present during the meeting in which a whole spectrum of Pak- UAE bilateral relations was discussed. Highlighting the existing cordial and friendly relationship with the UAE, Mr Zardari said Pakistan greatly values its bonds of fraternity with the UAE and is keen to expand cooperation with it in various fields. He emphasized upon further strengthening the trade relations in order to translate the existing equation into economic terms. The president hoped that Joint Ministerial Commission between the two countries would provide structured mechanism for promotion of bilateral economic relations that would go a long way to enhance economic interactions between the two countries. He said that Pakistan deeply appreciates the continued interest of investors from UAE in Pakistan. The president said private sector and the investors from the UAE could take maximum advantage from the investment friendly policies of Pakistan in various sectors including petroleum, banking, telecommunications and infrastructure. He said Pakistan was keen to sign Free Trade Agreement with GCC countries and would appreciate the UAEs support in this regard. This, he said, would pave the way for increased commercial activity between Pakistan and the Gulf countries. The president also noted with satisfaction the presence of a large number of Pakistani expatriates in the UAE who were contributing positively towards socio-economic development of the country and were serving as a vehicle to promote greater understanding between the people of the two countries. He also said Pakistan can meet UAE demand in the field of Human Resource for its various development projects. During the meeting, Mr Zardari thanked the UAE government for their generosity and assistance to the people of Pakistan at every hour of distress and said the generosity at the time of distress reflects the depth of our mutual feelings and the strength of our bonds. Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed thanked the president for meeting and expressed the hope that the existing close cooperation between the two countries would continue to grow with each passing day for the mutual benefit. He also assured continued support of the UAE government to the people of Pakistan in their fight against militancy and rehabilitation of natural calamity hit infrastructure. Zardari rejects UAE request for extension in deadline