Islamabad, August 11, 2021 (PPI-OT): Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi received the Foreign Minister of Iraq, Dr. Fuad Hussein, at the Foreign Office today. The Iraqi Foreign Minister arrived in Islamabad this morning for a two-day visit at the invitation of Foreign Minister Qureshi. The two Foreign Ministers had in-depth delegation-level talks, during which they exchanged views on bilateral relations as well as regional and global issues of common interest.
They reaffirmed the long-standing and friendly ties between the two countries, rooted deep in shared faith, common values and cultural affinities; and reaffirmed the desire to further strengthen bilateral relations in all fields.
Foreign Minister Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s support for territorial integrity and sovereignty of Iraq, and acknowledged the successes of Iraq and its people in the fight against terrorism. He in particular appreciated the resilience of Iraqi people in their efforts to overcome challenges and rebuild the country.
Recalling his recent visit to Iraq, Foreign Minister Qureshi underscored the importance of further strengthening the current momentum of high-level exchanges to augment bilateral cooperation. In order to strengthen institutional efforts to expand mutual collaboration, the two sides agreed on early convening of the 9th Session of the Pakistan – Iraq Joint Ministerial Commission.
Matters pertaining to Zaireen visiting Iraq and people-to-people contacts also came under discussion. While appreciating the measures taken by the Iraqi government for the well-being of Zaireen during the Covid times, Foreign Minister Qureshi requested for further facilitation in visas and travel, particularly in the Muharram and Arbaeen period.
Highlighting the shifting focus of Pakistan from geo-politics to geo-economics, Foreign Minister Qureshi stressed the importance of expanding bilateral trade and economic cooperation through enhanced connectivity and closer business-to-business and people-to-people linkages. He highlighted the potential in promoting tourism, scientific and educational collaboration, as well as cooperation in food security and oil sectors.
The Foreign Minister apprised the Iraqi Foreign Minister about the deteriorating human rights situation in the IIOJK, and underlined Pakistan’s principled position on the peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in line with the UNSC resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
Foreign Minister Qureshi also apprised about Pakistan’s perspective for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan. Emphasizing that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, the Foreign Minister underlined Pakistan’s consistent efforts for the promotion of an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan.
The Foreign Minister expressed serious concern over the increase in violence, called upon the Afghan parties to engage constructively for a negotiated political settlement, and reaffirmed Pakistan’s resolve to continue to fully support all efforts for a political solution. The Foreign Minister also exchanged views on the latest developments on the issue of Palestine and reaffirmed Pakistan’s consistent and unstinted support to the Palestinian cause.
A MoU on ‘Bilateral Political Consultations’ was signed after the delegation-level talks. The MoU is about establishing a mechanism for regular consultations on bilateral issues as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest. In addition to meeting the Pakistani leadership, the Iraqi Foreign Minister will also meet key Federal Ministers to discuss issues relevant to their respective fields.
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