ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan in a telephonic conversation with US President Donald Trump thanked him for his country’s support in the IMF and other fora, saying it would provide necessary fiscal space to Pakistan and help in mitigating the COVID-19 impact.
The two leaders discussed COVID-19 pandemic related challenges on Wednesday, its implications on global economy, and ways to mitigate its impact. They also exchanged views on regional issues and further strengthening of Pakistan-US cooperation. President Trump appreciated Imran Khan’s telephone call and expression of support for the US efforts to combat COVID-19. He also reassured of US support to Pakistan in the efforts to combat COVID-19 including by making available ventilators and help in the economic arena. Having learnt about testing of Prime Minister Imran Khan, President Trump offered to send the latest rapid testing machine for COVID-19 to the prime minister. The prime minister thanked him for the gesture.
Imran Khan conveyed sympathies and condolences on the loss of so many precious lives in the US due to coronavirus. He also highlighted Pakistan’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus. He emphasised that Pakistan was facing a dual challenge of overcoming the pandemic and saving people, particularly the most vulnerable segments of the population, from hunger due to lockdown. He underlined that the government had put together a $8 billion package to support the affected people and businesses.
While thanking President Trump for the US support in the IMF and other fora, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that it would provide necessary fiscal space to Pakistan and help in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
The prime minister’s call for “Global Initiative on Debt Relief” for the developing countries is in the same context. In the regional context, Imran Khan highlighted Pakistan’s steadfast support for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and the importance of political settlement. He reaffirmed Pakistan’s support for facilitation of the Afghan peace process and underscored the importance of next steps leading to the earliest commencement of intra-Afghan negotiations.