FM Qureshi discusses COVID-19, Kashmir issue with Russian counterpart

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi discussed a number of issues with his Russian countpart Sergey Lavrov, including the COVID-19 epidemic and its impact on the countries of the region and the ongoing barbarities by Indian occupation forces in Kashmir.

“Read in a press release issued by the Forward Office (FO), matters of mutual interest, including the COVID-19 epidemic, cooperation in multilateral forums, possibilities of bilateral cooperation and regional issues discussed by both ministers.”

Reiterating that Pakistan considers Russia an important partner and wishes to form a long-term and multifaceted partnership with the country, Qureshi lamented the loss of precious lives in Russia due to the ongoing global epidemic.

In response, Foreign Minister Lavrov also expressed solidarity with Pakistan in efforts to combat the outbreak.

During an exchange of views on the socio-economic effects of the virus, Qureshi asked Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Lavrov for debt relief for developing countries.

“Coordinated and comprehensive actions were necessary to create the fiscal space required by the developing world to deal with the socio-economic impacts of Kovid-19,” he said.

Highlighting the current situation in India’s occupied Kashmir, Qureshi expressed deep concern over the continuing dual lockdown as well as the intensification of military rift by Indian occupying forces and efforts to change the demographic composition of the occupied territory.

“Urgent steps are required to address the critical situation,” the minister underlined.

Reaffirming Pakistan’s support for the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, Qureshi emphasized the importance of inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue, the only way to sustainable peace and security in the country.

According to the statement: “Both Foreign Ministers agreed to maintain close consultation as part of regional efforts to support the Afghan peace process.”

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