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Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephone conversation, on 23 March, with his Spanish counterpart, Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzales Laya, to discuss matters related to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Foreign Minister Qureshi conveyed deep condolences over the loss of precious lives in Spain. He commended the steps being taken by the Spanish authorities, and in particular, lauded the heroic sacrifices of the Spanish health care workers. He also dilated upon the positive role of the 100,000 strong Pakistani community in Spain in standing in solidarity with their Spanish compatriots during the unprecedented crisis.

Foreign Minister Qureshi expressed deep concern over the continuing communication blackout in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir which was depriving 8 million Kashmiris of critical information and essential medical supplies needed to effectively contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

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

Foreign Minister 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 the Foreign Minister 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.

24 March 2020

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