Pakistan reaches out to world for cooperation in COVID-19 fight.

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephone conversation with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and discussed in detail the coronavirus pandemic as well as ways to enhance cooperation to combat the spread of the disease.

Expressing deep concern over the loss of precious lives, Foreign Minister Qureshi lauded the steps taken by the French authorities to contain the virus, and thanked his counterpart for looking after 13 Pakistanis affected in France. He also briefed Foreign Minister Le Drian about the measures underway in Pakistan to contain the outbreak, the Foreign Office said in a press release issues here on Tuesday said.

Foreign Minister Qureshi said the number of affected people in Pakistan due to COVID-19 is fast increasing. The disease has spread to almost all countries of the world and the situation demands a coordinated approach by the international community to combat its spread, he added.

In view of the situation in Iran, Foreign Minister Qureshi underscored the need for immediate lifting of sanctions and extending humanitarian assistance to enable Iranian authorities to save precious human lives. He also expressed concern over the fragile state of financial systems of the developing world.

To allow developing countries to cope with the crisis, and mitigate the economic fallout, he underlined the prime minister's call for debt restructuring, and sought France's support and understanding, as an important member of the EU, the G-7, and the UN Security Council, on these issues.

The French foreign minister agreed with Qureshi's assessment of the situation in Iran and the need to provide debt relief to developing countries, and expressed his intention to raise the lifting of sanctions on Iran with the IMF, as well as providing debt relief to developing countries at the G-20.

Foreign Minister Qureshi also held a telephone conversation with his Spanish counterpart Arancha Gonzales Laya and discussed matters related to the Covid-19 outbreak. He conveyed deep condolences over the loss of precious lives in Spain and commended the steps being taken by the Spanish authorities, and, in particular, lauded the heroic sacrifices of the Spanish...

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