Russia to support Pakistan’s debt relief initiative

Qureshi, Lavrov discuss Covid-19 situation, bilateral issues

By: INP      Published: 02:25 PM, 18 Jun, 2020
Russia to support Pakistan’s debt relief initiative
File photo.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov held a telephonic conversation on Thursday and discussed the Covid-19 pandemic situation.

Matters of mutual interest, cooperation at the multilateral fora, prospects of enhanced bilateral cooperation, and regional issues were also discussed, according to a press release issued by Foreign Office in Islamabad.

Qureshi offered condolences on the loss of precious lives in Russia due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He also underlined that Pakistan considered Russia an important partner and desired to forge a long-term and multi-dimensional partnership.

“The two foreign ministers exchanged views about the socio-economic ramifications about the pandemic,” a press release issued by the Foreign Office stated. “Foreign Minister Lavrov expressed solidarity with Pakistan in its efforts to combat the outbreak.”

The foreign minister apprised his Russian counterpart of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for “Global Initiative on Debt Relief” for developing countries.

“Coordinated and comprehensive actions were essential to creating fiscal space needed by the developing world to deal with the socio-economic impacts of Covid-19,” FO quoted FM Qureshi as saying.

The Russian foreign minister offered support for debt relief initiative and assured to play a positive role.

According to FO, FM Qureshi also shared deep concern over the continuing double lockdown in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) as well as the intensification of a military crackdown by Indian occupation forces and attempts to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory.

The foreign minister underlined the importance of urgent steps to address the grave situation, the statement said.

“The two foreign ministers also discussed the situation in Afghanistan in the context of the recent positive developments,” FO further added. “Foreign Minister Qureshi reaffirmed Pakistan’s support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and underlined Pakistan’s positive contribution to the US-Taliban peace agreement.”

He stressed the importance of inclusive intra-Afghan negotiations as the only way to build durable peace and security in the country.

The two diplomats agreed on maintaining close consultations as part of regional efforts to support the Afghan peace process and important bilateral agenda.