ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephonic conversation with Norwegian counterpart Ine Eriksen Søreide and discussed the response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The foreign minister offered condolences over the loss of lives in Norway due to the outbreak of COVID-19. He briefed the Norwegian 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.
FM Qureshi 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.
He said the initiative will bring together stakeholders on a platform to promote coordinated response on debt issues. He added the global initiative envisions providing developing countries fiscal space and financial relief and other additional measures that could help them manage the ongoing crisis.
Qureshi expressed concern over the continued communications and movement restrictions in Indian-Occupied Kashmir that was hampering the dissemination of information and unfettered supply of medicines and other essentials needed in the restive region to combat the pandemic. He also underlined concern over the discrimination towards Muslims in India due to the outbreak.
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. She shared 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.