ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday held a telephonic conversation with his Omani counterpart Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah and exchanged views on the COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions.

Foreign Minister Qureshi appreciated effective measures being taken by Oman to control the spread of the disease, said a foreign ministry statement. The FM briefed his Omani counterpart about the latest situation in Pakistan as well as the steps being taken by the government to cope with the challenge. He also expressed gratitude for repatriation of Pakistan nationals from Oman.

While underscoring importance of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for Global Initiative for Debt Relief for developing countries, Foreign Minister Qureshi reiterated the need for close cooperation to mitigate the impact of the economic slowdown and devote more resources to manage the crisis.

The Foreign Minister also highlighted the impending locust attack in the Middle East and South Asia and emphasized the need for coordinated response to maintain collective food security.

Qureshi expressed concerns over spread of COVID-19 in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir due to continued restrictions on movement and lack of unfettered access to medical and other essential supplies.

He also noted the campaign to demonize Indian Muslims in the context of Covid-19 spread, emphasizing that it should be rejected by the international community. The Omani Foreign Minister lauded the efforts of the government of Pakistan in combating the pandemic.