Mar 26, 2020, 5:43 PM
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Pakistan concerned over Iran problems due to sanctions

Islamabad, March 26, IRNA -- Pakistan has expressed serious concerns on the problems being faced by Islamic Republic of Iran in its fight against Coronavirus due to economic sanctions.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui responding to a question of IRNA at her weekly press briefing on Thursday said that the government of Pakistan is in touch with the Iranian authorities on regular basis with regards to matters pertaining to Coronavirus.

“Close coordination is taking place between the two sides, both at the leadership and working level,” she said.

The spokesperson said Pakistan realizes the problems being faced by Iran in its fight against the virus due to economic sanctions.

She said Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has already expressed his concern and called for the lifting of sanctions against Iran to enable it to combat effectively this pandemic.

Farooqui said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also spoke with his Iranian counterpart on 22 March.

She went on to say as regards movement of Pakistani pilgrims from Iran, we are closely coordinating with Iranian authorities to ensure that the movement takes place as per the SoPs prescribed by the Government.

“Every effort is being made to sort out issues, if any, through mutual coordination,” she said.

To a question she said Prime Minister Imran Khan has publicly asked the U.S. in his tweet, to lift sanctions from Iran on humanitarian grounds.

“The Prime Minister has also called for debt rescheduling and economic assistance for the developing countries,” she said.

She added this was further underscored by the Foreign Minister in his recent telephonic conversations with his counterparts from France, Spain and Germany.

Farooqui noted this initiative has gathered traction in recent days, evidenced by the joint statement of IMF and World Bank calling for suspension of debt payments for poorer countries.

“An extraordinary G-20 meeting is also likely to take place to discuss the economic impact of Coronavirus pandemic on global economy and developing countries,” she said.

Responding to another question the spokesperson said the Prime Minister has always emphasized the importance of diffusion of tensions and political solutions to differences and disputes, including in the Middle East/Persian Gulf Region.

“After the outbreak of Covid-19, we believe that the only way to pass through these extraordinary times is by standing together, leaving differences aside, and taking collective steps by the affected countries,” she said.

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