France to hold international conference to support flood-hit Pakistan
By Islamuddin Sajid
ISLAMABAD (AA) - France has assured Pakistan of help in the revival of its economy and reconstruction in the wake of devastating floods and announced holding an international financial and development conference this year.
In a joint statement issued after a meeting between Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Macron said Paris will help the South Asian nation in its current difficult situation.
"The two leaders agreed on mobilizing international support for Pakistan to help recover and rebuild its economy on a sustainable footing in the aftermath of the recent devastating floods in Pakistan related to climate change," said the statement.
“In order to gather the relevant international financial partners and the development partners, France will host an international conference before the end of the year aiming at contributing to the rehabilitation and the reconstruction of flood-affected areas of Pakistan and, with the help of climate-resilient reconstruction related financing, to accelerate the transition to renewable energy,” it further added.
Sharif thanked Macron for his country's support for GSP+ (Generalized System of Preferences-Plus) status with the EU, saying it helped enhance trade with the EU countries.
With relief in taxes on exports and imports, the EU’s GSP+ gives developing countries a special incentive to pursue sustainable development and good governance.
He also hoped that Paris would contribute to the government’s efforts in the rehabilitation and reconstruction phase, according to a separate statement issued from the prime minister’s office in Islamabad.
“Despite having a negligible contribution to global carbon footprint, Pakistan was among the most vulnerable to its devastation as manifested in the unprecedented floods,” he said.
Sharif also met with Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Raisi, Austria’s Chancellor Karl Nehammer, Spain’s President Pedro Sanchez, and US Special Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry.