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Pakistan, Iraq Foreign Ministers review bilateral ties & regional issues

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi received the Foreign Minister of Iraq Dr. Fuad Hussein at the Foreign Office in Islamabad on Wednesday and had in-depth delegation-level talks during which they exchanged views on bilateral relations as well as regional and global issues of common interest.

In the meeting, the two foreign ministers reaffirmed the long-standing and friendly ties between Pakistan and Iraq, rooted deep in shared faith, common values and cultural affinities; and reaffirmed the desire to further strengthen bilateral relations in all fields.

The Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s support for the 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 the Iraqi people in their efforts to overcome challenges and rebuild the Country.

Recalling his recent visit to Iraq, 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, 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, Shah Mahmood Qureshi stressed the importance of expanding bilateral trade and economic cooperation through enhanced connectivity and closer business-to-business and people-to-people linkages.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi highlighted the potential in promoting tourism, scientific and educational collaboration, as well as cooperation in food security and oil sectors.

The foreign minister apprised his Iraqi Counterpart about the deteriorating human rights situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), and underlined Pakistan’s principled position on the peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in line with the UN Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

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 Memorandum of Understanding (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.

The Foreign Minister of the Republic of Iraq Dr. Fuad Hussein arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday for a two-day visit to Pakistan from August 11-12 at the invitation of the Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

During his visit, in addition to meeting the Pakistani leadership, the Iraqi Foreign Minister Dr. Fuad Hussein will also meet key Federal Ministers to discuss issues relevant to their respective fields.

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