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Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephonic conversation with Foreign Minister of Norway Ine Eriksen Søreide today.

The Foreign Minister offered condolences over the loss of lives in Norway due to the outbreak of COVID-19. He briefed the Foreign Minister on the measures taken by the government of Pakistan to contain the pathogen and underscored the need for solidarity within the international community during these challenging times.

The Foreign Minister underscored the importance of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ‘Global Initiative on Debt Relief’ for developing countries in order to enable them to devote their resources to fight COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its economic fallout. The Global Initiative on Debt Relief will bring together stakeholders on a platform to promote coordinated response on debt issues. The Initiative envisions providing developing countries fiscal space and financial relief and other additional measures that could help them manage the ongoing crisis.

The Foreign Minister expressed concern over the continued communications and movement restrictions in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IoJ&K) that were hampering dissemination of information and unfettered supply of medicines and other essentials needed to combat the pandemic. He also underlined concern over the demonization of Muslims in India in the context of COVID-19.

The Norwegian Foreign Minister thanked the Foreign Minister for his expression of solidarity and agreed with him on the importance of international cooperation for dealing with the pandemic. Foreign Minister Søreide shared Foreign Minister Qureshi’s concern regarding the adverse impact of COVID-19 on the economies of developing countries. The two sides agreed to work closely on the debt relief initiative and remain engaged.



29 April 2020

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