German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas phones FM Qureshi


ISLAMABAD, MAR 22 (DNA) – German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi over telephone.

Foreign Minister Qureshi offered deep condolences over the loss of lives in Germany due to the outbreak of Coronavirus (Covid-19).

The Foreign Minister informed that 3 persons in Pakistan had lost their lives while more than 500 people were infected by the Coronavirus (Covid-19). He briefed his German counterpart on the efforts taken by the government to contain the outbreak of Covid-19 and underscored the need for the international community to collaborate during these challenging times.

The Foreign Minister said that in the same spirit, Pakistan was coordinating with the regional countries via the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). During the recent video conference of the SAARC member states, Pakistan also called on India to lift the nearly 8 months long blockade in IOJ&K, to ensure necessary medical supplies to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The Foreign Minister further underlined that the situation in Iran was very serious and it was important that sanctions be lifted so that Iran could effectively deal with the humanitarian crisis unfolding due to Covid-19.

The Foreign Minister informed his German counterpart that Pakistan had followed the IMF program in letter and spirit and as a result, economy was becoming stable. However, due to the challenge posed by Covid-19, the resources were being stretched to the limits. Foreign Minister Qureshi underscored the need for providing debt relief to developing countries so that they could utilize their resources towards mitigating the effects of Covid-19.

The German Foreign Minister informed that 68 people had lost their lives and more than 20,000 people were infected due to Covid-19 in Germany. The German Foreign Minister said Germany shared the concern regarding the situation in Iran and will take up the matter at his important regional meetings next week.

The German Foreign Minister also agreed on the need to provide relief to developing countries in dealing with debt burden so that they could utilize their resources towards containing Covid-19 and stated that Germany will raise this issue appropriately during the forthcoming high-level meetings.

The two Foreign Ministers agreed to remain engaged.