Pak FM meets Iraqi leaders to boost bilateral ties

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi held meetings with Iraqi leaders during his official visit to Baghdad to strengthen bilateral ties in various fields.

Iraqi President Barham Salih met with Qureshi on Saturday, and the two sides discussed bilateral relations and stressed the importance of cooperation in combating terrorism and extremism to stabilise the region and the world, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The world and the region, in particular, are facing the challenges of terrorism, extremism, and the escalation of tensions that affect global security and stability,” Salih said.

“Iraq’s close relations with the Arab world, Islamic neighbouring countries, and its relations with the international community are a cornerstone of security, stability, and development in the region.”

For his part, Qureshi affirmed “his country’s commitment to supporting Iraq’s security and sovereignty and expressed aspiration towards consolidating bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields with Iraq”.

Qureshi also met Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, as the two discussed ways to enhance cooperation between Baghdad and Islamabad in the security, economic and military fields.

They also discussed the file of religious visits as Pakistan wants to facilitate visa procedures for Pakistani visitors to Iraq

Moreover, Qureshi conveyed an invitation from the Pakistani leadership for al-Kadhimi to visit Pakistan.

Qureshi also met his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein.

At a press conference after the meeting, Hussein said that he discussed with Qureshi “the export of Iraqi oil to the Pakistani market, cooperation in the agricultural and industrial fields, in addition to encouraging religious tourism between the two countries”.

For his part, Qureshi told reporters that his country is looking forward to more cooperation with Iraq in the fields of combating terrorism and religious tourism, stressing Pakistan’s commitment to supporting Iraq in all fields.

Qureshi arrived at Baghdad airport on Friday and was received by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Salih al-Tamimi.