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(Karachi) Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that there is need for combined efforts to face challenges related to coronavirus pandemic, food insecurity, locust invasion and climate change.

Addressing the meeting of SAARC Council of Ministers on the sidelines of 75th session of the UN General Assembly via video link on Thursday, Qureshi said Pakistan may have controlled the COVID-19 pandemic within its boundaries, but it believes that a regional approach is needed to stop the spread of disease and save lives and livelihoods of the people of South Asia.

The FM also stressed upon peaceful resolution of outstanding disputes to achieve development, economic growth, poverty alleviation and social uplift of masses.

On the occasion, he reiterated that Pakistan is ready to host the 19th SAARC summit in Islamabad. He expressed the hope that the artificial obstacles created in its way would be removed and SAARC would be enabled to function as an effective instrument of regional cooperation.

The foreign minister said Pakistan, being a founding member of SAARC, has always attached great importance to this platform and remains committed to the principles and objectives of the SAARC Charter.