Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi was accorded a warm welcome by the Foreign Minister of Iraq, Dr Fuad Hussein, as they met in Baghdad today.
The two Foreign Ministers held delegation-level talks, and later continued their conversation over the lunch hosted by the Iraqi Foreign Minister. The Foreign Ministers also delivered statements to the press after the delegation-level talks. Foreign Minister Qureshi thanked Dr. Fuad Hussein for the invitation and warm hospitality extended during the visit. During the meeting, the two Foreign Ministers reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations. They reaffirmed the long-standing and friendly ties between the two countries, rooted in shared faith, values and culture, and expressed desire to further augment bilateral relations.
Foreign Minister Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s support for territorial integrity and sovereignty of Iraq, acknowledged the successes of Iraq and its people in the fight against terrorism and appreciated the resilience of Iraqi people in their efforts to overcome myriad of challenges. The two Foreign Ministers also discussed how the global pandemic compounded various challenges faced by the developing countries. Stressing that no single country could overcome the COVID-19 pandemic alone, Foreign Minister Qureshi stressed the importance of international cooperation to save lives and livelihoods. He outlined Pakistan’s strategy to manage the pandemic, which included assisting friendly countries such as Iraq, where Pakistan dispatched three planes load of COVID-related assistance in March 2021.
Foreign Minister Qureshi stressed the importance of maintaining momentum in the high-level and Ministerial visits between the two countries and early convening of the 9th Session of the Pakistan - Iraq Joint Ministerial Commission. The idea of establishing an overarching framework of consultations at the Foreign Ministers’ level also came under discussion. Foreign Minister Qureshi also highlighted the importance of concluding agreements and MoUs in diverse fields already being negotiated by respective departments of the two sides. Foreign Minister Qureshi underscored the importance of expanding bilateral trade and economic relationship through enhanced connectivity, and strengthening people-to-people linkages. He identified significant prospects in promoting bilateral tourism, including facilitation of Zaireen from Pakistan, promoting scientific and educational cooperation, cooperation in food security and oil sector.
The two Foreign Ministers also discussed bilateral cooperation in multilateral organizations, in particular the United Nations, its subsidiary organizations, Human Rights Council and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Expressing satisfaction at the existing collaboration, Foreign Minister Qureshi expressed Pakistan’s desire to forge closer partnership in key multilateral organizations for strengthening mutual support, and to effectively promote the perspectives shared by both countries. The two Foreign Ministers exchanged views on the regional situation and issues of mutual interest. Foreign Minister Qureshi briefed his counterpart on the situation in South Asia, in particular the situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and Pakistan's efforts to promote peace despite the vitiated environment created by India. He stressed that peace in the region was contingent on resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions.
The Foreign Minister also apprised the Iraqi Foreign Minister of Pakistan’s consistent support for the Afghan Peace Process. The two Foreign Ministers also discussed the Palestine issue and the regional situation resulting from the crisis. The two Foreign Ministers agreed to continue exchanging views on regional and global issues of mutual interest. Foreign Minister Qureshi extended a cordial invitation to Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein to visit Pakistan, which was accepted graciously. Foreign Minister Qureshi is visiting Iraq for a three-day visit at the invitation of his Iraqi counterpart. In addition to meeting the Iraqi leadership, the Foreign Minister will also meet key Ministers to discuss issues relevant to their respective fields.