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April 2, 2020

Debt restructuring discussed during G-20 moot, KSA tells Pakistan

Top Story

April 2, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia informed Pakistan on Wednesday that a number of measures, including the proposal for debt re-structuring, were deliberated upon during the recently held Virtual G-20 Leaders’ Summit Conference, to help tackle the economic consequences of COVID-19.

This was conveyed by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in a telephone conversation with Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has on several occasions made a call for debt relief and restructuring for developing states to enable them to free up resources to combat the disease, save precious lives, and shore up economies.

“The foreign minister felicitated his Saudi counterpart on the successful initiative of convening the Virtual G-20 Leaders’ Summit, and stated that Saudi leadership of the G-20 was key to forging a coordinated and coherent global response to the crisis,” said the Foreign Office.

Qureshi also condoled the loss of life in Saudi Arabia due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and expressing deep condolences on the loss of life due to the outbreak commended the steps taken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in arresting the spread of the virus.

“The foreign minister also briefed Prince Faisal bin Farhan on the measures being taken by Pakistan to contain coronavirus,” said the Foreign Office.

Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s strong condemnation of the recent missile attacks launched towards Riyadh and Jazan, noting that the timely action of Saudi defence forces had helped save lives. He also reaffirmed Pakistan’s full solidarity with the brotherly people of Saudi Arabia and support for the security and territorial integrity of KSA.

Meanwhile, a high-level meeting, presided over by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday, reviewed several aspects of phase-wise repatriation of Pakistani citizens stranded in other countries. The meeting was convened at the Foreign Ministry to tackle the issues related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The meeting was also attended by Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Special Assistant for Overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Bukhari, Special Assistant for National Security Dr Moeed Yousuf, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mehmood, Secretary Aviation Division Hasan Nasir Jami, senior officials of the MoF and military officials. The three meetings convened earlier sought recommendations from the Ministry of Health, Civil Aviation Authority, Overseas Division, National Institute of Health, Pakistan International Airlines, and several other institutions and detailed discussions on the recommendations were also held.

He also informed that the flight operations due to lockdown in various countries are suspended presently.

Addressing the meeting, the foreign minister maintained that bringing back Pakistanis stranded at airports across the globe is a top priority. He added that the Foreign Ministry established a crisis management cell on an immediate basis, which is in constant contact with Pakistani embassies all over the world and has complete statistics of overseas Pakistanis.

Qureshi informed the meeting that all the protocols were followed on the test flight and all 170 passengers returning from Thailand were tested negative. “We have to ensure quarantine and various other medical facilities at airports for the positively tested coronavirus cases,” said the FM.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has welcomed the recent announcement by Afghan leadership on formation of negotiation team, which should pave the way towards the commencement of intra-Afghan negotiations process.

“Pakistan believes it is an important step reflecting commitment of the leadership to according priority to peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan,” said the spokesperson at the Foreign Office.

She said that the US-Taliban peace agreement has provided a historic opportunity to establish durable peace and stability in Afghanistan, which can be realised by resolving differences, eschewing recrimination, working constructively together, and cooperating in the supreme interest of the country.

“We hope that all concerned parties will pursue reduction in violence as a common cause in its earnest. Pakistan will continue to support a peaceful, stable, united, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, at peace with itself and with its neighbours,” the spokesperson added.