Islamabad, July 2nd: Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a Video Conference with Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod of Denmark today. Covid-19 pandemic, regional situation and other matters of mutual interest came under discussion.
At the outset, the Danish Foreign Minister offered his condolences on the loss of precious lives in the terrorist attack on Pakistan Stock Exchange. The Foreign Minister thanked the Danish Foreign Minister and shared Pakistan’s concerns on externally sponsored and financed terrorism against Pakistan.
The Foreign Minister briefed the Danish Foreign Minister on the measures being taken by the government of Pakistan to contain the pathogen while safeguarding lives and livelihoods. Foreign Minister Qureshi further commended Denmark’s deft handling of the crisis, which had made it the leader in Europe in opening up following lockdowns in the aftermath of the Pandemic. The Foreign Minister expressed hope that Pakistani nationals will not be subjected to any restrictions or discrimination as and when travel restrictions are relaxed by Denmark.
The two Ministers exchanged views about the socio-economic ramifications of the Pandemic. The Foreign Minister apprised his Danish counterpart of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “Global Initiative on Debt Relief” for developing countries. He underscored that coordinated and comprehensive actions were essential to create fiscal space needed by the developing world to deal with the socio-economic impact of Covid-19, and hoped that Denmark would support the Initiative.
The Foreign Minister conveyed concern on temporary suspension of PIA flights into Denmark as a follow up to EASA’s decision. He underlined that all necessary steps were being taken by the government to ensure the highest level of flight safety in PIA operations. PIA remained committed to maintaining the highest standards and quality in its operations. The Foreign Minister stressed the need for review of the EASA decision.
Foreign Minister Qureshi shared deep concern over continuing lockdown in IOJ&K as well as the intensification of military crackdown and extra-judicial killings by Indian occupation forces. He denounced India’s moves to alter the demographic structure of IOJ&K by introducing new domicile law and granting domicile to 25,000 non-Kashmiris, calling it a clear violation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions and international law, including the 4th Geneva Convention.
The two Foreign Ministers also discussed the situation in Afghanistan in the context of recent developments. The Foreign Minister highlighted Pakistan’s positive contribution to the U.S.-Taliban direct talks culminating in the Peace Agreement of 29 February 2020. He stressed that the Afghan leadership must seize this historic opportunity and work together through intra-Afghan negotiations to achieve a comprehensive and inclusive peace settlement. He reaffirmed that Pakistan would continue to support Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process as part of a shared responsibility for durable peace and security in Afghanistan.
Bilateral trade and investment relations and cooperation in green technologies also came under discussion. In this regard, the Foreign Minister thanked Denmark for its support in securing renewal of GSP Plus status for Pakistan in the European Union.
The two Foreign Ministers agreed to remain engaged on all matters of mutual interest. Foreign Minister Qureshi invited the Danish Foreign Minister to visit Pakistan once the corona pandemic subsides, which he accepted with pleasure.
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