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Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephonic conversation with the Dutch Foreign Minister, Mr. Staphanus Abraham Blok, today. Matters of mutual interest, including the Covid-19 Pandemic, cooperation at multilateral fora and other issues came under discussion.

Foreign Minister Qureshi offered condolences on the loss of precious lives in the Netherlands due to the Pandemic. Expressing solidarity with European and Dutch partners, the Foreign Minister commended the European Union’s coordinated response to strengthen financial and health sectors of Member States in the wake of the crisis.

The two Ministers exchanged views about the socio-economic ramifications of the pandemic. The Foreign Minister apprised his Dutch counterpart of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “Global Initiative on Debt Relief” for developing countries. He underscored that coordinated and comprehensive actions are essential to create fiscal space needed by the developing world to deal with the socio-economic impacts of Covid-19.

Foreign Minister Qureshi shared deep concern over continuing double lockdown in IOJ&K as well as the intensification of military crackdown, fake encounters and extra-judicial killings by Indian occupation forces. The Foreign Minister also highlighted demonization of Muslims in India in the context of Covid-19, underlining that it should be rejected by the international community. The Foreign Minister noted the endeavours of European Parliamentarians in stressing upon India to end the human rights violations in IOJ&K and grant the Kashmiri people their right of self-determination. He underlined that European partners must play their role in addressing the grave situation.

The two Foreign Ministers also discussed the situation in Afghanistan in the context of recent positive developments. The Foreign Minister reaffirmed that Pakistan supports Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process aimed at durable peace and security in the country.

The Foreign Minister stated that he was looking forward to welcoming the Dutch Foreign Minister in Islamabad once the Covid-19 pandemic subsided.

3 June 2020

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