Qureshi discusses ‘diverse, deep cooperation’ with Iraqi leaders

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Baghdad

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who is on a three-day visit to Iraq, on Saturday extended an invitation to Iraqi PM Mustafa Al-Kadhimi to visit Pakistan on behalf of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The Iraqi PM, while accepting the invitation, hoped that the visit would take place at the “earliest convenience”.

Apart from extending the invitation, Pakistan’s top diplomat lauded the Iraqi people for their “resilience” against the “serious challenges” they face against “peace and security”.

Qureshi also paid tribute to the Iraqis for the sacrifices they made in the fight against terrorism and also suggested that Islamabad and Baghdad share each other’s “experience and expertise” in the area.

The foreign minister told the Iraqi premier that he had come to the country to “translate Pakistan’s existing friendly relationship with Iraq into a collaborative and mutually beneficial partnership across diverse fields”.

The country’s top diplomat also stated that Pakistan’s wishes to “meet its energy requirements with oil from Iraq”.

He 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.

Qureshi also emphasised the need for high-level visits between Islamabad and Baghdad for building and carrying forward the “positive momentum in the relationship”.

The Pakistani foreign ministers suggested 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”, said the Foreign Office.

On the other hand, the Iraqi PM expressed interest in cooperating with Pakistan in the “health sector” and also suggested that the two countries look into the possibility of utilising Pakistan’s health facilities for the Iraqi people.

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

Separately, Qureshi also called on Iraqi President Dr Barham Salih to convey warm wishes on behalf of the Pakistani leadership.

The FO said that President Salih “warmly welcomed” Qureshi and reciprocated the feelings expressed on behalf of Pakistan’s leadership. He also thanked the foreign minister for Pakistan’s understanding and support.

In his meeting with the Iraqi leaders, Qureshi briefed them on Pakistan’s efforts in the Afghan peace process and diplomatic support given to the people of Palestine.

In his meeting with the president, the foreign minister briefed him on the situation in South Asia, in particular Pakistan’s approach towards the issues and disputes with India.

Qureshi also held delegation level talks with his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein and reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations, according to Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafiz Chaudhri.

They also discussed cooperation in multilateral organisations, particularly the United Nations and its subsidiary UN Human Rights Council as well as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, he said.

FM Qureshi said Pakistan desired to forge closer partnership in key multilateral organisations for strengthening mutual support and promoting perspectives shared by the two countries.