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Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi today received a telephone call from Foreign Minister of Canada Mr. Marc Garneau. During the call, matters pertaining to COVID-19 pandemic, bilateral ties and regional situation were discussed.

The Foreign Minister stated that Pakistan and Canada had historically enjoyed cordial relationship and underlined the need to enhance the bilateral relations in political, economic, security and cultural fields for mutual benefit of the two countries.

The Canadian Foreign Minister briefed the Foreign Minister on the decision by the Canadian Government to suspend flights to and from Pakistan in the wake of an upsurge in COVID-19 cases in Canada.

The Foreign Minister offered condolences on the loss of precious lives in Canada due to COVID-19 and extended good wishes to the Government and people of Canada to combat the pandemic in a holistic manner. He apprised the Canadian Foreign Minister of the effective measures taken by the Government of Pakistan to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the lives and livelihoods of Pakistani people and urged that the Canadian government may reconsider its decision of suspending flights from Pakistan.

The Foreign Minister appreciated the inclusion of Pakistan in Students Direct Stream (SDS) while expressing hope that it would help to augment access of more Pakistani students to the educational institutes of Canada. He requested to re-establish Canadian visa processing center in Islamabad following improvement in law & order situation in Pakistan. The Foreign Minister thanked the Government of Canada for positively revising travel advisory for Pakistan.

Foreign Minister Marc Garneau offered condolences on the loss of precious lives in the recent attack on Serena hotel, Quetta. He also appreciated the Joint statement adopted at the conclusion of the Trilateral Meeting of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey on 23rd April 2021.

Both Ministers extended invitations to each other to visit the respective countries on mutually convenient dates. The Foreign Minister thanked the Canadian Foreign Minister for his telephone call. The Foreign Ministers agreed to remain in contact in future as well.

27 April 2021

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