ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday underscored that developing countries are faced with the twin challenge of containing the Coronavirus and staving off hunger due to loss of livelihoods.

While talking to his Ethiopian counterpart Abiy Ahmed Ali over telephone, the PM emphasised that debt suspension will help free up resources, enhanced measures are needed to reboot the developing economies.

The Prime Minister conveyed Pakistan's solidarity with the government and people of Ethiopia, and commended their effective measures to control the spread of COVID-19. The discussion focused on debt relief matters, including Prime Minister Imran Khan's 'Global Initiative for Debt Relief' for developing countries in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Noting that a global recession is imminent, Imran Khan underlined that developing countries would need a combination of additional measures to meet urgent financial requirements, sustain growth, and strengthen fragile health systems as well as to save lives and provide social protection to those below the poverty line.

The two leaders agreed on the importance of working together, along with the UN Secretary General and other stakeholders, to evolve a comprehensive plan on debt relief issues.

Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated his invitation to Prime Minister Abiy to visit Pakistan at the earliest convenience.

Bahrain supports PM’s call for global debt relief initiative Pakistan and Bahrain have agreed to continue consultations and deliberations on all key regional issues, including global pandemic of Coronavirus.An understanding to this effect came during a telephonic conversation between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Bahraini counterpart Dr. Abdul Latif Bin Rashid Al-Zayani on Monday. The two leaders discussed matters pertaining to regional and international situation, and joint strategy to cope with the situation arising out of Coronavirus.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi lauded the timely and effective measures taken by the Bahraini government to cope with Coronavirus situation. He expressed gratitude to the Bahrain government for extending cooperation in releasing and repatriating stranded Pakistani prisoners following Covid-19 outbreak.

The Foreign Minister also briefed his counterpart about relief measures taken by the government of Pakistan in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

The Bahraini Foreign Minister expressed support to Prime Minister Imran Khan's call for a global initiative for debt relief to developing countries. He also lauded exemplary efforts made by Pakistani community in progress, development and prosperity of Bahrain.