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Pakistan FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi seeks US help for securing COVID vaccine doses

News Agencies | Updated on: 23 May 2021, 10:34 IST
Shah Mahmood Qureshi

Shah Mahmood Qureshi sought US help for arranging coronavirus vaccines for Pakistan as the country could not get the supply committed under COVAX, owing to excessive global demand.

The COVAX facility has been established to even out the playing field by providing access to diagnostics, treatment and vaccines against the disease to developing countries. COVAX aims to ship close to 2 billion doses of vaccines by the end of 2021, in an unprecedented global effort to guarantee access to vaccines for all.

Qureshi also held virtual interactions with US Congressman Tom Suozzi and Senator Lindsey Graham and discussed bilateral ties, as well as Palestine, and Afghan issues, reported The Express Tribune.

Talking to the reporters in New York, Qureshi said that US wanted to engage with Pakistan as they could not deny Pakistan's significance.

At his media interaction on Friday (local time), Qureshi was accompanied by Pakistan Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan and Permanent Representative to UN Munir Akram, reported The Express Tribune.

The FM told reporters that Pakistan and the US have decided to enhance bilateral engagement by taking advantage of modern communication tools. "Therefore, a select group of Congressmen would hold a meeting with Pakistani authorities in June," he said.

"The Congressmen would also be invited for a meeting during the upcoming UNGA session, likely to be held physically. As a third step, they will be invited to Pakistan in October which will also help address their misconceptions about Pakistan, besides giving a better understanding about the country."

Qureshi arrived in the US along with his counterparts from Turkey, Palestine and Tunisia to address the special session of the United Nations General Assembly on the deteriorating Palestine situation on Thursday.

The UNGA session was convened on the joint request from the Arab Group Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) with a sole objective to improve the Palestinian situation with a ceasefire being the first step. Qureshi termed the session "effective and productive".

Meanwhile, Qureshi on Thursday (local time) was slammed by CNN anchor Bianna Golodryga for his anti-Semitic slur. He accused that Israel has 'deep pockets' and 'they contrio media'.

"Israel is losing out. Despite their connections, they are losing the media war," Qureshi said in the interview. Pak FM Qureshi was trolled at various social media sites for his remarks on Israel.


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First published: 23 May 2021, 10:34 IST