Trump, Imran Discuss COVID-19, Regional Security Over Phone

US President Donald Trump with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. ( File Pic)

Washington- US President Donald Trump and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan held a telephonic conversation on Wednesday during which they agreed to work together on a coordinated response to defeat the coronavirus and minimize its economic impact.

This was the first call between the two leaders during the coronavirus pandemic. Trump and Khan had a bilateral meeting in Davos in January on the sidelines of the Davos Economic Summit.

“The leaders discussed developments in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and agreed to continue working together on a coordinated response to defeat the virus and minimize its economic impact, the White House said in a readout of the call.

“The two leaders also discussed regional security and other bilateral issues, it said.

In Pakistan, the virus has killed 209 people and infected 10,072 others.

In Islamabad, Khan’s office said the Prime Minister called President Trump and the two leaders discussed COVID-19 pandemic related challenges, its implications on global economy, and ways to mitigate its impact.

“They also exchanged views on regional issues and further strengthening of Pakistan-US cooperation,” Khan’s office said in a statement.

Prime Minister Khan also highlighted Pakistan’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus and emphasized that his government was facing a dual challenge of overcoming the pandemic and saving people, particularly the most vulnerable segments of the population, from hunger due to lockdown.

He underlined that the government had put together a USD 8 billion package to support the affected people and businesses.

While thanking President Trump for the US support in the IMF and other fora, Prime Minister Khan said that it would provide necessary fiscal space to Pakistan and help in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

He also called for Global Initiative on Debt Relief for the developing countries is in the same context.

Khan also highlighted Pakistan’s steadfast support for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and the importance of political settlement. He reaffirmed Pakistan’s support for facilitation of the Afghan peace process and underscored the importance of next steps leading to the earliest commencement of Intra-Afghan negotiations.

President Trump appreciated Khan’s telephone call and reassured him of the US support to Pakistan in the efforts to combat COVID-19 including by making available ventilators as well as in the economic arena.

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