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Pakistani, Bangladeshi top diplomats discuss COVID-19

Pakistan's foreign minister also telephones his Turkish counterpart to discuss recent developments on coronavirus

Islamuddin Sajid   | 24.03.2020
Pakistani, Bangladeshi top diplomats discuss COVID-19

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan

Foreign ministers of Pakistan and Bangladesh discussed on Tuesday the challenges faced by regional countries in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi telephoned his Bangladeshi counterpart A.K. Abdul Momen, and reaffirmed his country's readiness to host another video conference bringing together the health ministers of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to enhance cooperation among the member countries, said the statement.

Appreciating Pakistan’s offer, Momen conveyed his country's readiness to participate in the video conference, the statement added.

The two diplomats stressed the need for joint efforts to address the situation, and agreed to work closely "to realize collective endeavors for common benefit."

In the wake of economic challenges, Qureshi underscored the need for debt restructuring for developed countries.

He also emphasized the need for immediate lifting of sanctions on Iran, enabling Iranian authorities to utilize their resources for saving precious human lives.

Qureshi assured that all Bangladeshi citizens in Pakistan were being looked after by the Pakistani government as its own people.

Separately, Pakistan's foreign minister spoke to his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu over the pandemic. He appreciated Turkey's efforts to contain the virus that emerged in China last December and has since spread to at least 169 countries.

According to another statement, Qureshi expressed satisfaction on Ankara's efforts for Pakistanis living in Turkey in this time of need.

So far, Pakistan has confirmed over 900 COVID-19 cases, whereas at least seven of those who contracted the virus have passed away, according to the country's National Health Ministry.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh has reported 39 confirmed cases with four deaths, as per the Coronavirus Resource Center of the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

In Turkey, over 1,800 people have tested positive with 44 deaths.

All three countries have taken a series of measures to contain the spread of the virus, including closure of schools and universities, and suspension of non-essential services such as sports and eating out.

The number of confirmed cases worldwide is more than 409,000 with the death toll exceeding 18,200, while over 106,500 have recovered.

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