Qureshi, Spanish FM discuss COVID 19 outbreak

Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephone conversation with his Spanish counterpart Arancha Gonzales Laya and discussed matters related to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Foreign Minister Qureshi conveyed deep condolences over the loss of precious lives in Spain

and commended the steps being taken by the Spanish authorities, and in particular, lauded the heroic sacrifices of the Spanish healthcare workers.

He also dilated upon the positive role of the 100,000 strong Pakistani community in Spain standing in solidarity with their Spanish compatriots during the unprecedented crisis, Foreign office spokesperson said in a press release on Tuesday .

Foreign minister Qureshi expressed deep concern over the continuing communication blackout in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir which was depriving eight million Kashmiris of critical information and essential medical supplies, needed to effectively contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

He also underscored the need for immediate lifting of sanctions against Iran and extending humanitarian assistance to enable Iranian authorities to save precious human lives.

Qureshi further highlighted the Prime Minister’s call for debt relief for the developing countries to enable them to devote resources to combat the pandemic, and mitigate its serious economic fallout.

Thanking Qureshi for the call, Foreign Minister Laya apprised him of the steps being taken by Spain to look after its citizens, including those of Pakistani origin.

She appreciated the role being played by the Pakistani community in Spain.

She informed that the situation in Iran was discussed at the EU foreign ministers meeting held on 23 March and also mentioned that the issue of debt relief to developing countries, could be taken up at appropriate fora.

The two ministers agreed that the best way to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic was to cooperate closely.

Qureshi, French FM for enhanced cooperation to control COVID 19

Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi during a telephone conversation with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian discussed in details the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic as well as ways to enhance cooperation to combat the spread of the disease.

Expressing deep concern over the loss of precious lives, Foreign Minister Qureshi lauded the steps being taken by the French authorities to contain the virus, and thanked the his counterpart for looking after 13 Pakistanis affected in France.

He also briefed foreign minister Le Drian about the measures underway in Pakistan to contain the outbreak, the foreign office spokesperson in a press release on Tuesday said.

Foreign Minister Qureshi informed that the number of affected people in Pakistan due to COVID-19 was increasing.

The COVID-19 had spread to almost all countries of the world, and the situation demanded a coordinated approach by the international community to combat its spread, he added.

In view of the situation in Iran, Foreign Minister Qureshi underscored the need for immediate lifting of sanctions and extending humanitarian assistance to enable Iranian authorities to save precious human lives.

He also expressed deep concern over the continuing communication and movement lockdown in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir which was depriving eight million Kashmiris of critical information and essential medical supplies needed to effectively contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Foreign Minister Qureshi also expressed concern over the fragile state of financial systems of the developing world.

To allow developing countries to cope with the crisis, and mitigate the economic fallout, he underlined the Prime Minister’s call for debt restructuring, and sought France’s support and understanding, as an important member of the EU, the G-7, and the UN Security Council, on these issues.

The French foreign minister agreed with Qureshi’s assessment of the situation in Iran and the need to provide debt relief to developing countries, and expressed his intention to raise the lifting of sanctions on Iran with the IMF, as well as providing debt relief to developing countries at the G-20.

Foreign Minister Qureshi suggested that in view of the situation arising out of the COVID-19, the two sides may hold the next round of Bilateral Political Consultations, which was scheduled on 26 March 2020, via video conference.

Foreign Minister Le Drian thanked the foreign minister for his expression of solidarity and concurred with the need for enhanced cooperation to tide over the crisis. The two ministers also agreed to stay in contact.