ISLAMABAD - The Foreign Office spokesperson has rejected the allegations contained in a recent editorial in the Gulf News and termed it baseless and malicious.

Responding to a question‚ he said in the case of Expo 2020‚ Pakistan was committed to vote for Turkey which requested for Pakistan's support as far as back in May 2011. He said the UAE entered the race much later and this fact was explained to the UAE leadership.

The spokesperson said it was also conveyed that if Turkey were to withdraw its candidature‚ Pakistan would not only support the UAE but also lobby for it. Consequently‚ when Turkey withdrew its candidature‚ Pakistan voted in favour of the UAE in the subsequent rounds of voting.

He said Pakistan's supportive efforts have been acknowledged by the UAE leadership‚ which has conveyed its appreciation at the highest level. The spokesperson said Pakistan has always stood by its friends and would continue to do so. Responsible newspapers are expected to ensure greater accuracy in their reporting.