Foreign Minister Participates in the High-Level Video Conference on Belt and Road International Cooperation: Combating COVID-19 with Solidarity

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi participated in the Video Conference on Belt and Road International Cooperation: Combating Covid-19 with Solidarity, hosted by China. Mr. Wang Yi, State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China, chaired the Conference in which Foreign Ministers of a large number of ‘Belt and Road Initiative’countries participated.

Speaking at the Conference, Foreign Minister Qureshi underscored that besides causing deaths the “COVID-19 pandemic had shaken the world and led to economic slowdown, bankruptcies, financial fissures, job-losses and disruption in global supply-chains.” Highlighting the dangers the pandemic had posed to social and political stability, the Foreign Minister said it was time for the world community to “demonstrate unity, solidarity, and multilateral cooperation to fight this pandemic.”

Foreign Minister Qureshi underlined that Pakistan was resolutely confronting the outbreak of COVID-19 and taking all possible measures to strengthen the existing health system. The primary focus remained on both saving lives and saving livelihoods. In order to alleviate the sufferings, Prime Minister Imran Khan had introduced major initiatives including US $ 8 billion relief package for the most vulnerable people and Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program to help the needy.

It was underscored by the Foreign Minister that CPEC, a flagship project of BRI, could play an important role in boosting regional growth and recovery in the post-COVID-19 period. In that regard, he added, Pakistan and China were taking requisite measures which would help in timely completion of CPEC projects.

While supporting the idea of ‘Health Silk Road’mooted in the Conference by China, Foreign Minister Qureshi proposed that the COVID-19 vaccine, as and when it was developed, must be declared a “global public good” and made available on an equitable basis.The Foreign Minister appreciated China’s role in organizing the Conference and hoped that it will play an instrumental role in successfully fighting COVID-19.

The Foreign Minister, drawing attention of the participants to the plight of the people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir(IOJ&K),called for lifting of the double lockdown,allowing access of international health experts to IOJ&K, and immediately extending requisite medical help to besieged Kashmiris.

Islamabad
19 June 2020

Joint Statement of the High-level Video Conference

258/2020
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