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France comes to the aid of flood-stricken Pakistan with an international meeting

France has offered to help Pakistan’s economy recover and its reconstruction following devastating floods by hosting an international conference this year as a gesture of goodwill.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif and French President Emmanuel Macron met outside the United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) 77th Session in New York.

The two leaders discussed enlisting international assistance to help Pakistan recover and restructure its economy in the wake of the climate change-related floods in addition to exchanging opinions on how to improve bilateral relations.

Before the end of the year, France will host an international conference to bring together the necessary development and financial partners, with the goal of assisting in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Pakistan’s flood-affected areas and, with the aid of climate-resilient reconstruction-related financing, accelerating the switch to renewable energy.

Alongside the UNGA, the premier met with Pedro Sanchez, the president of Spain.PM Shehbaz emphasised the necessity of strengthening relationships between Pakistan and Spain on a number of fronts, with a focus on inter-parliamentary ties as well as security and defence cooperation.

The Spanish president urged bilateral cooperation in the energy industry and ties between the people.The prime minister praised the Spanish government’s cooperation and solidarity in the aftermath of massive floods caused by climate change in Pakistan, and he thanked Spain for its relief assistance to the affected people. He described the destruction wrought by the floods to crops, homes, livestock, and key infrastructure.

Pakistan, according to the prime minister, is one of the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change. He hoped that the international community will step up and help lessen the flood’s negative impacts by actively participating in the repair and reconstruction phase.

In the regional context, the prime minister emphasised Pakistan’s support for an Afghanistan that is inclusive, peaceful, stable, prosperous, and connected. He went on to say that Afghanistan was facing a dire humanitarian scenario as well as difficult economic hurdles.

He emphasised that the international community’s continuous, practical, and meaningful engagement with Afghanistan was critical for safeguarding the welfare of the Afghan people and supporting shared goals of peace, security, and development in the country.

The Prime Minister invited President Sanchez to visit Pakistan as soon as possible. Shehbaz Sharif and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer met separately to evaluate bilateral relations and exchange perspectives on regional concerns.

The prime minister emphasised the massive devastation caused by historic climate-induced floods in Pakistan, as well as the government’s efforts to address the massive challenge. He commended Austria for its unwavering support for the GSP+ system, emphasising that the mutually beneficial arrangement had resulted in great outcomes for both parties.

The prime minister also met with Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Raisi, who expressed his gratitude to the Iranian government and people for their sympathy and assistance for the Pakistani people in the aftermath of devastating floods.

During the meeting, the two presidents committed to enhance and broaden bilateral collaboration in a variety of areas, including economic and trade cooperation, energy and connectivity, cultural exchanges, and people-to-people relations.

The prime minister expressed Pakistan’s appreciation for the supreme leader’s unwavering support for the rightful struggle of the people of Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K).

Shehbaz Sharif attended the start of the high-level general debate of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA77) at the General Assembly Hall on Tuesday.

The prime minister arrived at the United Nations Headquarters to attend a welcoming reception organised by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for heads of state/government attending the UNGA session.

The prime minister spoke with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the reception.Earlier, the prime minister landed in New York on Monday night to lead Pakistan’s delegation to the United Nations General Assembly’s 77th session, which is attended by 140 international leaders.

On September 23, the prime minister will address the 193-member assembly during a high-level debate. The debate begins on Tuesday and concludes on September 26.