ISLAMABAD : Pakistan and Russia Thursday agreed to take forward important bilateral agenda and close cooperation in the regional context. In a telephonic conversation with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi underlined that Pakistan considers Russia an important partner and desires to forge a long-term and multidimensional partnership with Russia, said a press statement.The two foreign minister discussed matters of mutual interest, including the COVID-19 pandemic, cooperation at the multilateral fora, prospects of enhanced bilateral cooperation, and regional issues.Qureshi offered condolences on the loss of precious lives in Russia due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He apprised his Russian counterpart of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for “Global Initiative on Debt Relief” for developing countries. He said that coordinated and comprehensive actions are essential to create fiscal space needed by the developing world to deal with the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19.The Russian foreign minister expressed support for debt relief initiative and assured to play a positive role. In context of Indian Occupied Kashmir, Qureshi shared deep concern over the continuing double lockdown as well as the intensification of military crackdown by Indian occupation forces and attempts to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory. He underlined the importance of urgent steps to address the grave situation. The two foreign ministers also discussed the situation in Afghanistan in the context of the recent positive developments. Qureshi reaffirmed Pakistan’s support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and underlined Pakistan’s positive contribution to the U.S.-Taliban peace agreement. He stressed the importance of inclusive intra-Afghan negotiations as the only way to build durable peace and security in the country. The two Foreign Ministers agreed on maintaining close consultations as part of regional efforts to support the Afghan peace process.
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