Trump assures Pakistan of support during Covid-19 crisis, says will provide 'ventilators and economic help'
United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday assured Pakistan of support during the coronavirus crisis and said that the US would provide "ventilators and economic help".
Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Trump in a telephone conversation discussed challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, its effect on the global economy and ways to mitigate its impact, according to an official statement from the Prime Minister House.
The call was an extension of the premier's diplomatic outreach efforts related to his Global Debt Relief Initiative. The initiative aims to bring together leaders from different countries "notably from the Paris Club, Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and heads of international organisations" to push for a more coordinated response to the pandemic.
Based on the premier's belief that "enhanced fiscal capacity is fundamental to recovery from the ongoing pandemic", the initiative seeks to lay the ground for urgent debt relief for developing countries without "onerous conditionalities".
The premier thanked the US president for American support in international forums, particularly the International Monetary Fund.
The US president offered to send a rapid testing machine for Covid-19 to the prime minister after learning that he would get tested for the virus.
During the telephone call, the premier conveyed "his condolences to President Trump on the loss of so many precious lives" in the US because of the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Imran also informed the US president of Pakistan's efforts to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, emphasising that the country was "facing a dual challenge" — to control the spread of the virus and to protect people, particularly the weakest sector of society from dying of hunger amid the lockdown.
He added that the government had recently introduced an $8 billion package to support those affected by the pandemic.
The prime minister also reiterated 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," the statement added.