PM Imran discusses coronavirus challenges with Ethiopian counterpart

Developing countries faced twin challenge of containing disease and staving off hunger, says premier


​ Our Correspondent May 04, 2020
The discussion between Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Ethiopian counterpart Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali focused on debt relief matters, including the premier's global initiative for debt relief for developing countries. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Ethiopian counterpart Abiy Ahmed Ali discussed the situation arising out of coronavirus pandemic and the challenges the developing countries are facing amid the crisis over telephone on Monday.

In the context of Pakistan’s “engage Africa” policy, PM Imran emphasised the importance of closer bilateral ties with Ethiopia. He also reiterated his felicitations to Premier Abiy on winning the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.

He also conveyed Pakistan’s solidarity with the government and people of Ethiopia, and commended their effective measures to control the spread of Covid-19.

The discussion also focused on PM Imran's global initiative for debt relief for the developing countries in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The premier underscored that the developing nations faced the twin challenge of containing the disease and staving off hunger due to loss of livelihoods. He emphasised that while debt suspension will help free up resources, enhanced measures are needed to reboot the developing economies.

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Noting that a global recession is imminent, Premier Imran underlined that developing countries will need a combination of additional measures to meet urgent financial requirements, sustain growth, strengthen fragile health systems as well as to save lives and provide social protection to those living below the poverty line.

The two leaders also agreed on the importance of working together, along with the UN Secretary General and other stakeholders, to evolve a comprehensive plan on debt relief issues.

Bilaterally, the premier stressed upon further deepening of cooperation including enhanced political and diplomatic linkages and increased mutual trade.

PM Imran reiterated his invitation to Ethiopian counterpart to visit Pakistan at the earliest convenience.