FM Qureshi phones British counterpart, conveys well wishes well for Prince Charles
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday telephoned British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Dominic Raab and exchanged views on the global outbreak of coronavirus and prospects of enhanced bilateral cooperation to jointly tackle the pandemic with him. Expressing condolences over the loss of life in the United Kingdom due to the coronavirus, Shah Mehmood conveyed his good wishes for early recovery of Prince Charles and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who had also been tested positive for the Covid-19 disease. He apprised his British counterpart that the UK nationals residing in Pakistan were being taken care of and assured of their return after the normalcy.
Lauding the steps being taken by the UK authorities to combat the infectious virus, the Foreign Minister thanked British authorities for taking care of the Pakistani community in the UK. Shah Mehmood informed Foreign Secretary Raab about the latest situation of outbreak in Pakistan and the steps taken by the government for its containment. While highlighting the situation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, he said due to the Indian lockdown for the last eight months, the territory had been facing shortage of food and medical supplies to effectively contain the Covid-19 pandemic and around eight million Kashmiris were awaiting the world support for their riddance from the Indian oppression. The Foreign Minister also reiterated the need to lift sanctions against Iran, enabling it to utilize its resources to save precious human lives.
He highlighted that the debt relief for developing countries like Pakistan would enable them to devote greater resources to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and mitigate its economic fallout. Qureshi said the United Nations Secretary General and the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had also given encouraging remarks in that regard. He hoped that being a member of the G-7 and G-20 countries, the UK would play its role to carry forward the said proposal. The British foreign secretary thanked the foreign minister for the call and his expression of solidarity. He concurred that enhanced global cooperation was key to combat the pandemic. He hinted at raising the proposal of restructuring of the loans at the appropriate forum. Both the sides agreed to keep up the consultation for mutual cooperation against the pandemic.