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

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday held a telephonic conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov to discuss a range of issues including the current COVID-19 outbreak and its ramifications on the region, as well as the crackdown by Indian occupation forces in Kashmir.
“Matters of mutual interest, including the COVID-19 pandemic, cooperation at the multilateral fora, prospects of enhanced bilateral cooperation, and regional issues were discussed by both ministers,” read a press release issued by the Foreign Office (FO).
Reiterating that Pakistan considered Russia as an important partner and desired to forge a long-term and multi-dimensional partnership with the country, Qureshi offered condolences on the loss of precious lives in Russia due to the on-going global pandemic.
In response, Foreign Minister Lavrov also expressed solidarity with Pakistan in its efforts to combat the outbreak.
During an exchange of views on the socio-economic implications of the virus, Qureshi apprised Lavrov of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for debt relief for developing countries.
“Coordinated and comprehensive actions were essential to create fiscal space needed by the developing world to deal with the socio-economic impacts of Covid-19,” he said.
Shedding light on the current situation in India-occupied Kashmir, Qureshi communicated deep concern over the continuing double lockdown as well as the intensification of military crackdown by Indian occupation forces and attempts to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory.
“Urgent steps are required to address the grave situation,” the minister underlined.
Reaffirming Pakistan’s support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, Qureshi stressed the importance of inclusive intra-Afghan negotiations as the only way to build durable peace and security in the country.
According to the statement: “The two Foreign Ministers agreed on maintaining close consultations as part of regional efforts to support the Afghan peace process.”

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