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Foreign Minister holds telephone conversation with Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio of Italy on the Covid-19 Pandemic – GNP

Islamabad: March 26th, 2020 \(GNP) : Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephone conversation with his Italian counterpart, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio today on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Expressing deep sorrow and grief over the tragic loss of life, the Foreign Minister lauded the courage and heroism of Italian health care providers, and affirmed Pakistan’s unwavering solidarity with Italy at this difficult time. He thanked the Italian authorities for looking after the Pakistani community in Italy.

In view of the imminent economic difficulties, the Foreign Minister reiterated Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for debt relief and restructuring for developing States, as a means to enable them to divert resources to save lives and shore up economies. He expressed the hope that Italy, as an important member of the EU, the G-7, and the G-20 would take up this matter at the Summit.

Foreign Minister Qureshi further highlighted Pakistan’s continued concern over the lockdown in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir, now approaching eight months, which was preventing dissemination of information and distribution of medical and other essential supplies, needed to effectively combat the disease. He stressed the need for a unified call to end all restrictions in IOJ&K.

Foreign Minister Di Maio thanked the Foreign Minister for the call. The two Ministers exchanged views on the best ways forward to address the pandemic, and agreed to remain engaged in the matter.