Islamabad, Jul 26 (EFE).- Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari urged Russia to restore the stalled Black Sea grain initiative in order to meet the challenge of global food insecurity, the Asian country’s ministry of foreign affairs said Wednesday.
According to a statement by the ministry, Zardari held a telephone call with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday during which they discussed bilateral issues and growing cooperation in diverse areas.
The ministry said that Zardari underlined the importance of the initiative and its potential impact on the disruption of global food supply chains and its impact on food inflation and food-security-related challenges, and called for efforts to restore the deal.
“Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari underscored the need for concerted efforts to find viable solutions that would in particular benefit developing countries already under economic strain,” read the statement.
The minister further expressed hope that all parties involved in the initiative would engage in constructive dialogue to revive it.
The development comes a week after Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba made a trip to Pakistan, the first-ever visit by any Ukrainian minister since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1993.
Addressing a joint press conference with Zardari, Kuleba said he briefed his Pakistani counterpart about the rationale behind Russia’s withdrawal from the initiative and about its consequences for global food security.
The Ukrainian foreign minister said that his country would appreciate it if Pakistan supported the resumption of the initiative.
Earlier this month, Russia halted its participation in the initiative that allowed war-torn Ukraine to ship grains through the Black Sea to parts of the world struggling with hunger.
In the statement, the ministry further said that Zardari informed his Russian counterpart of his discussions on the initiative with his counterparts in Ukraine, Turkiye, the United States and the European Union.
The statement added that Lavrov shared Russia’s perspective on the issue, and the two ministers agreed to remain in close contact on the matter. EFE