Foreign Minister Shahid holds telephonic conversation with His Excellency Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on the Covid-19 Pandemic

23 March 2020

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives, His Excellency Abdulla Shahid held a telephonic conversation with his counterpart, His Excellency Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Minister Shahid conveyed warm greetings to Foreign Minister Qureshi, the Government and the people of Pakistan on the historic occasion of Pakistan Day.Noting the escalating situation of the COVID-19 pandemic around the globe and in Pakistan, Minister Shahid expressed solidarity with Pakistan and commended the efforts of Pakistan Government in addressing the situation.Minister Shahid briefed Foreign Minister Qureshi on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the fragile economy of the Maldives, a small island nation highly dependent on tourism and imports. Further, Minister Shahid apprised Minister Qureshi on the measures implemented by the Maldives to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Minister Shahid thanked the Government of Pakistan for their continuous assistance, and looking after the welfare of Maldivians, in particular the students, in Pakistan, in these challenging times. Minister Shahid assured Foreign Minister Qureshi that Pakistani citizens in Maldives will be well cared for and looked after.With reference to the outcomes of the recent video conference held by SAARC leaders on the Covid-19 pandemic, Minister Shahid reiterated President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s call for a comprehensive regional strategy that encompasses enhanced cooperation between the region’s health emergency agencies, and short and long term economic relief and recovery for the SAARC region.  Minister Shahid further informed Foreign Minister Qureshi that Maldives has established a COVID-19 emergency relief fund with an initial pledge of US $ 200,000 and also conveyed concurrence to the proposal by the SAARC Development Fund to mobilise US $ 5 million as grant aid from its existing budget for COVID-19 emergency efforts.Both Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to enhance the brotherly relations and cooperation between Maldives and Pakistan based on shared values, mutual respect and understanding, and to continue working together on bilateral and international issues of mutual concern.Minister Shahid reiterated his invitation to Foreign Minister Qureshi to undertake an official visit to Maldives which he graciously accepted.