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Pakistan rejects UAE request to withdraw call to US for air base vacation

(Xinhua)

14:00, November 29, 2011

ISLAMABAD, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan Monday rejected a United Arab Emirate (UAE) request to withdraw its call to the United States to vacate a key air base following NATO attack, which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, local media reported.

The NATO fighter planes and helicopters had struck two Pakistani border posts in the country's tribal region on early Saturday morning, which promoted call by the country's top civilian and military leadership to the U.S. to vacate Shamsi air base in Balochistan province in 15 days.

The UAE Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zeyed Al-Nahyan, arrived in Islamabad on an unannounced visit and met President Asif Ali Zardari and requested him to take back its deadline set for the U.S. to leave the air base.

The U.S. has been using the air base located in the country's southwest for years for operation in Afghanistan and drone strikes in tribal regions of Pakistan.

"The UAE Foreign Minister requested President Asif Zardari to withdraw call for air base vacation," TV channels reported.

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