Global Initiative on Debt Relief: Buhari confers with Pakistani PM

President Muhammadu Buhari and the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Mr Imran Khan, on Thursday had a phone conversation on the Global Initiative on Debt Relief canvassed by leaders of the Non-Aligned Movement Contact Group.

Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman, said this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.

It would be recalled that during an online summit held on Monday, leaders of the 120-nation organisation, the largest after the United Nations, had agreed that a debt relief campaign be launched for developing countries to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The leaders also believed that the debt relief would also help to address the unprecedented health and socioeconomic challenges facing most of the member countries of the Non-Aligned Movement Coontact Group.

Buhari had on Monday in Abuja during a virtual Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), said national, regional and global strategies would be required to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic.

He urged international financial institutions to assist member states in cushioning the negative impact of the pandemic in the spirit of solidarity.

The Nigerian leader said this should include extending concessional loans, technical support, lowering of tariff on medical equipment and consumables, sharing of expertise in case management, adopting open trade policies, as well as outright debt cancellation.

“Within the spirit of South-South cooperation, we must also assist one another, particularly the less developed and less endowed member states with technical, medical and financial assistance.

“It is by so doing that we can rightly claim to uphold the Bandung Principles of equality, mutual interests and cooperation,’’ Buhari stated. (NAN)