FM Qureshi calls on top brass in Iraq

By Staff Reporter
Sunday – May 30, 2021
ISLAMABAD: The foreign minister (FM) Shah Mahmood Qureshi, on Saturday, held separate meetings with Iraqi top brass; wherein he discussed regional and global issues of mutual interest, briefed them on the situation in South Asia, in particular the approach towards the issues and disputes with India, the consistent support for the Afghan peace process, the steadfast diplomatic support for the just cause of Palestine and highlighted efforts to promote solidarity among the Muslim Ummah.

According to press releases, the FM is on his three-day bilateral visit to Iraq.

In his meeting with Iraqi prime minister (PM) Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, FM Qureshi conveyed sincere and warm greetings from PM Imran Khan and expressed Pakistan’s full support for a secure and prosperous Iraq.

Iraqi PM Al-Kadhimi reciprocated the gesture and thanked Pakistan for its support.

The FM appreciated the resilience of the Iraqi people in facing serious challenges to peace and security.

Paying tribute to the sacrifices rendered by Iraqi people in the fight against terrorism, he said the two countries could benefit from sharing experience and expertise in this area.

FM Qureshi expressed confidence that, with able leadership, unyielding efforts and sincere friends, Iraq will overcome any challenge to emerge stronger and more prosperous in future.

He stressed that the purpose of his visit was to translate Pakistan’s existing friendly relationship with Iraq into a collaborative and mutually beneficial partnership across diverse fields.

In this regard, FM briefed Iraqi PM Al-Kadhimi on Pakistan’s focus on building connectivity and economic diplomacy.

FM Qureshi identified areas, such as tourism, manpower export, infrastructure development, investment and food security, in which the two countries could significantly benefit from enhanced cooperation.

He also expressed Pakistan’s desire to meet its energy requirements with oil from Iraq.

FM Qureshi laid special emphasis on the need to further strengthen people to people linkages, in particular facilitating thousands of Pakistani Zaireen who visit Iraq every year.

Agreeing to the potential of cooperation between the two countries, Iraqi PM Al-Kadhimi expressed Iraq’s interest in cooperation in health sector, as well as the possibility of utilising Pakistan’s health facilities for Iraqi people.

He urged the foreign ministers of both countries to explore tangible collaboration in this field.

FM Qureshi stressed the importance of high-level visits between the two countries to build and carry forward the positive momentum in the relationship.

He proposed that the two countries should develop an overarching framework of political consultations and bilateral cooperation at the foreign ministers level to provide impetus to deepening and strengthening mutually beneficial partnership. Iraqi PM Al-Kadhimi welcomed the idea, in principle.

​Discussing regional and global issues of mutual interest, FM Qureshi apprised Iraqi PM of the deteriorating situation in the Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and stressed the need to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir (JK) dispute, in accordance with the United Nations (UN) Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

He also briefed Iraqi PM Al-Kadhimi on Pakistan’s efforts to support peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, in particular the Afghan peace process, as well as Pakistan’s principled position on the issue of Palestine.

Separately, in his meeting with Iraqi president Barham Salih, the FM conveyed warm wishes to Iraqi president from Pakistan’s leadership and affirmed Pakistan’s support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq.

FM Qureshi briefed Iraqi president Salih on Pakistan’s transformed vision centred around economic security, shifting focus from geo-politics to geo-economics. He outlined Pakistan’s desire to offer itself as an economic hub through peace, development partnerships and connectivity.

Reaffirming Pakistan’s long-standing and friendly ties with Iraq, FM Qureshi expressed Pakistan’s desire to further enhance existing bilateral ties in all spheres of cooperation.

He offered Pakistan’s support and cooperation for Iraq’s efforts toward rebuilding and strengthening the country.

Iraqi president Salih agreed that the two countries needed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in mutually beneficial areas. Appreciating PM Khan’s environmental initiatives, he hoped for greater cooperation in this field.