Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephone conversation with his Nepali counterpart, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, today.

 

Detailed discussions were held on the situation arising from the spread of Covid-19, and ways to enhance cooperation to combat the threat posed by the rapid spread of the pandemic. Challenges faced by regional States and the need for joint efforts came under review.

 

Foreign Minister Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s readiness to host the SAARC Health Ministers’ Conference and suggested that a video conference could be organized due to the prevailing global health emergency.

 

Foreign Minister Qureshi stated that Pakistan considered SAARC an important platform for regional cooperation. He appreciated Nepal’s leadership role as Chair in steering the SAARC process forward despite the many odds.

 

The two Ministers agreed on the need to work closely to promote collective endeavours to fight common challenges.

 

The Foreign Minister noted that Pakistan has proposed that sanctions on Iran be lifted so that humanitarian relief can be provided at this time of crisis to save precious human lives.

 

Foreign Minister Qureshi said that the Prime Minister of Pakistan had also proposed that developed countries may facilitate developing countries to meet the challenge through debt restructuring so that they can use limited resources to mitigate the effects of this pandemic on their economies and provide effective relief to poor people.

 

The Foreign Minister of Nepal appreciated the proposal. He also expressed concerns on the humanitarian crisis in Iran.

 

Foreign Ministers Qureshi and Gayawali further noted that this year marked the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Nepal. They reiterated mutual commitment to further strengthening bonds of friendship between the two countries, bilaterally as well as through regional and international forums.

 

 

Islamabad

22 March 2020

121/2020
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