Pakistan FM warns European FMs over Iran sanctions

Pakistani Foreign minister in telephonic conversation with his French and Spanish counterparts said economic sanctions on Iran should be immediately lifted so that the country could utilize its resources to fight corona pandemic.

According to foreign ministry statement on Tuesday Shah Mahmood Qureshi while talking to his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian had detailed discussions on the COVID-19 pandemic as well as ways for collective  cooperation to combat the spread of the disease.

He said that in view of the situation in Iran, Foreign Minister Qureshi underscored the need for immediate lifting of sanctions and extending humanitarian assistance enabling Iranian Government to save precious human lives.

He said that COVID-19 has spread to almost all countries of the world, and the situation demanded a coordinated approach by the international community to combat its spread.

The Foreign Minister said the developing countries have been facing economic difficulties due to coronavirus outbreak, and Prime Minister Imran Khan demanded for relaxation in payment of debts by developing countries.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian agreed with the Foreign Minister’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.

Both the Foreign Ministers agreed to continue consultative process to deal with the pandemic and promote bilateral cooperation.

Meanwhile Foreign Minister Qureshi held a telephone conversation with Foreign Minister of Spain Arancha Gonzalez Laya on the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Foreign ministry statement said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi conveyed deep condolences over the loss of precious lives in Spain.

The Foreign Minister also underscored the need for immediate lifting of sanctions against Iran and extending humanitarian assistance to enable Iranian authorities to save precious human lives.

“Foreign Minister Qureshi further highlighted the Prime Minister’s call for debt relief for the developing countries to enable them to devote resources to combat the pandemic, and mitigate its serious economic fallout,” said the statement.

Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya informed that the situation in Iran was discussed at the EU Foreign Ministers meeting held on 23 March and also mentioned that the issue of debt relief to developing countries could be taken up at appropriate forums.

The two ministers agreed that the best way to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic was to cooperate closely.

Earlier Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan had termed sanctions against Iran as cruel.

“I would insist the international community to lift sanctions from Iran as it has created more problems in their fight against coronavirus,” he said.

Meanwhile Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday had a telephonic conversation with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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