ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephone conversation with his Maldivian Counterpart Abdulla Shahid on Monday, and had detailed discussions on the situation arising from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and ways to enhance cooperation to combat the threat posed by the rapid spread of the pandemic.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi commended the Maldives government for effective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and hoped Maldives would soon overcome the current economic difficulties, due to suspension of tourism and other activities.
Apprising the Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid of the steps being taken by Pakistan, he indicated that all Maldives nationals in Pakistan were safe, and will be looked after by the Government of Pakistan.
Qureshi sought the Maldivian foreign minister’s assistance for four Pakistani tourists stranded in Maldives.
The foreign minister lauded the proposal by the President of Maldives to develop a comprehensive regional strategy to combat Covid-19, and in this context, reiterated Pakistan’s offer to host SAARC Health Ministers’ Conference soon.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi also briefed his Maldivian counterpart on Pakistan’s call for lifting of sanctions against Iran in light of the health emergency in that country, as well as Prime Minister Imran Khan’s proposal for restructuring of developing world debt to free up resources to enable the developing countries to save lives and shore up their economies.
Felicitating Maldives on its re-joining the Commonwealth of Nations, Qureshi reaffirmed that Pakistan attached great importance to brotherly relations with the Maldives.
The foreign minister accepted the Maldivian foreign minister’s invitation to visit Maldives at an opportune time.
The two foreign ministers agreed to work closely to achieve shared objectives of regional peace, development and prosperity.