April 22, 2020
Prime Minister Imran Khan and United States President Donald Trump held a telephonic conversation on Wednesday to discuss coronavirus pandemic that has killed over 175,000 people around the world. The two leaders discussed challenges being faced by the international community, 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, Aisha Frooqui, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a statement.
Prime Minister Imran conveyed sympathies and condolences on the loss of so many precious lives in the US due to coronavirus. The premier also highlighted Pakistan’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus. He emphasised that Pakistan 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 US$ 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 Imran said that it would provide necessary fiscal space to Pakistan and help in mitigating the impact of Covid-19 pandemic. The Prime Minister’s call for “Global Initiative on Debt Relief” for the developing countries is in the same context. In the regional context, the premier highlighted Pakistan’s steadfast support for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and the importance of political settlement. PM Imran 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 Prime Minister Imran’s telephone call and expression of support for the US efforts to combat Covid-19. He also reassured of US support to Pakistan in the efforts to combat Covid-19 including by making available ventilators as well as in the economic arena. Having learned about testing of Prime Minister Imran, President Trump offered to send the latest rapid testing machine for Covid-19 to the prime minister, who thanked him for the gesture.