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Qureshi for enhanced coop among ECO states keeping in view its Vision 2025

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ISLAMABAD: Reiterating Pakistan’s commitment to Economic Cooperation Organization and its processes, Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi has assured the secretary general ECO of his full support for greater integration and enhanced cooperation among the member states in line with ECO Vision 2025.
The foreign minister Friday held a telephonic conversation with Dr Hadi Soleimanpour, Secretary General Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).
The exchange of views covered matters relating to ECO’s vision, response to COVID-19, ECO’s projects for enhanced economic cooperation and connectivity, and developments in the region.
Pakistan, being one of the founding members of ECO, has been at the forefront of efforts to transform this multilateral platform into a formidable economic bloc and effective instrument of regional economic cooperation.
The foreign minister apprised the ECO Secretary General of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for “Global Initiative on Debt Relief” for developing countries. He stated that coordinated and comprehensive actions are essential to create fiscal space needed by the developing world to deal with the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19.
The foreign minister extended Pakistan’s support for early convening of ECO Health Ministers’ virtual conference to chalk out a comprehensive regional response to COVID-19 threat.
The foreign minister shared deep concern over the double lockdown in IOJ&K, exacerbation of situation due to Covid-19, intensification of military crackdown by Indian occupation forces, and attempts to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory.
The foreign minister underlined the importance of urgent steps by the international community to help address the grave situation. He also highlighted Pakistan’s efforts to facilitate the Afghan peace process and underlined that the historic opportunity created by the US-Taliban Peace Agreement should be seized by the Afghan leadership to achieve a comprehensive and inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan.
The secretary general condemned the Karachi Stock Exchange terrorist attack and extended condolences over the loss of precious lives. Appreciating Pakistan’s active role in ECO as a founding member, he updated the Foreign Minister on ECO’s different initiatives to advance the objectives of socio-economic development and regional integration.
The foreign minister and Secretary General Hadi Soleimanpour agreed to remain in touch to take forward the shared goals of Pakistan and ECO.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has held a video conference with his Danish counterpart Jeppe Kofod and conveyed concern on temporary suspension of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flights into Denmark following the decision of European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
The foreign minister underlined that all necessary steps are being taken by Pakistan to ensure the highest level of flight safety in PIA operations.
During the conversation, Shah Mahmood Qureshi has stressed the need for review of the decision.
The foreign minister expressed hope that Pakistani nationals would not be subjected to any restrictions or discrimination as and when travel restrictions were relaxed by the Denmark.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has urged the international community to play its due role to rid the oppressed Kashmiris of the Indian tyranny.
Talking to Secretary General Economic Cooperation Organization Dr Hadi Soleimanpour on telephone on Friday, the foreign minister said that eight million innocent Kashmiris have been suffering from double lockdown since the coronavirus outbreak.
The minister underlined the need for holding an early virtual meeting of the ECO health ministers to formulate a joint strategy at regional level against COVID-19. He apprised the ECO Secretary General about the features of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s proposal of debt relief to deal with the economic repercussions of Covid-19 and support the weak economies of the developing countries, and stressed the need for pursuing joint efforts in this regard.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Pakistan is ready to play its role for promotion of regional, economic and trade links among the member states in the light of ECO’s 2025 vision.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that Pakistan and China are all-weather strategic cooperative partners and they preserve the fine tradition of expressing solidarity, mutual assistance and mutual support to each other in the face of common challenges.
Foreign Minister Qureshi said this during a telephone conversation with Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Bilateral, regional, and international issues were discussed during the conversation.
Qureshi reiterated that Pakistan remains committed to ‘One-China policy’ and firmly supports China on its core interests including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet, and Xinjiang.
Qureshi underscored that regional security situation is deteriorating and underlined that India’s belligerent posture and expansionist policies are imperilling peace in the region. Apart from committing egregious violations of human rights in IOJ&K, India is seeking to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory.
The foreign minister also briefed about the repeated violations committed by India across the LOC as well as targeted killing of the civilians. In the face of Indian provocations, Pakistan is exercising restraint, the foreign minister added.
Qureshi underscored that disputes in the region should be resolved through peaceful means and agreed mechanisms rather than resorting to unilateral, illegal and coercive measures reflected in India’s decision of 5 August 2019. He emphasized that the recent attack at Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi was supported by anti-Pakistan elements seeking to undermine Pakistan’s economic development and stability.
State Councillor Wang Yi briefed Foreign Minister Qureshi about the regional situation. He lauded Pakistan’s sincere and relentless efforts to promote peace and stability in the region and thanked Pakistan for the support it has extended to China during difficult and challenging times.
Both sides also reaffirmed their resolve to support each other at the multilateral institutions and hoped that those institutions would foster a spirit of objectivity and coherence in advancing their goals.
The two foreign ministers expressed determination to promote peace and development in Afghanistan. It was hoped that the next meeting of China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Foreign Ministers Dialogue will take place at the earliest to facilitate peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan.
Both sides reaffirmed the resolve to take measures aimed at the earliest possible economic recovery in the aftermath of COVID-19. Foreign Minister Qureshi underlined that BRI and CPEC would become the hub of trade and economic activity, sustainable development and greater people-to-people exchanges. Pakistan and China are taking relevant measures which will help timely completion of CPEC projects.
Wang Yi underscored that CPEC is a flagship project of BRI and that the second phase of CPEC will complement Pakistan’s efforts aimed at job creation, enhancing agricultural productivity, reducing poverty, and massive economic recovery. He emphasized that, in the aftermath of COVID-19, Beijing is taking swift, practical, and demonstrable measures to promote economic recovery in the region.
He thanked Pakistan for supporting Beijing’s idea of ‘Health Silk Road’ which, he believed, would play a major role in addressing the region’s social and economic needs.
Both sides resolved to implement consensus reached by the leadership of the two countries to deepen strategic consultation and coordination at all levels so as to collectively promote shared goals of peace and stability. They decided to have face-to-face meeting soon to discuss challenges confronted by the region.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Friday.
The foreign minister, in a Twitter post, said that he underwent the test after feeling a slight fever this afternoon. FM Qureshi maintained that he quarantined himself at his home after his test reports for the virus came out positive. “I have now tested positive for COVID-19,” he added.
FM Qureshi said that by the grace of Allah, he feels strong and energetic, adding that he will continue to carry on his duties from home. The foreign minister urged the people to pray for his early recovery from the disease.
Earlier, PML-N President and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and many other politicians had tested positive for coronavirus. – TLTP