Pakistan, Iraq to enhance security, defence cooperation

Published May 31, 2021
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (left) meets  Iraq’s Minister for Interior Othman Ali Farhood Moshir Al Ghanimi. — Photo courtesy: Twitter
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (left) meets Iraq’s Minister for Interior Othman Ali Farhood Moshir Al Ghanimi. — Photo courtesy: Twitter

BAGHDAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Iraq’s Minister for Interior Othman Ali Farhood Moshir Al Ghanimi on Sun­day agreed on the need for exchanging delegations with a view to enhancing cooperation in security matters, countering narcotics smuggling and visa facilitation.

During a meeting, Mr Qureshi highlighted the professional expertise and commitment of Pakistan’s armed forces and law enforcement agencies in effectively dealing with the challenge of terrorism.

He said the two countries could benefit from cooperation in countering terrorism, particularly sharing of expertise and intelligence and training and capacity building of their law enforcement agencies.

The Iraqi interior minister welcomed the suggestion, a press release said. Foreign Minister Qureshi underscored strong religious and cultural affinities between the people of the two countries and said that these bonds also provided significant opportunities for deeper bilateral cooperation in diverse areas.

In meetings with Iraqi ministers, Qureshi discusses visa facilitation, defence production

In this regard, the foreign minister emphasised the need for enhancing people-to-people linkages, in particular by promoting religious tourism between the two countries.

He said that facilitation of visas and improved services to Pakistani Zaireen could lead to enhanced bilateral trade, commerce and investment.

Agreeing with the foreign minister, the Kuwaiti interior minister assured the former of his country’s cooperation. He also highlighted the need for enhancing cooperation between the two countries in countering narcotics smuggling.

Foreign Minister Qureshi also held a meeting with Iraqi Minister for Defence Jumaa Inad Saadoun Khattab during which they reviewed the progress made on various aspects of defence collaboration between the two countries.

During the meeting at the Ministry of Defence, the two ministers noted with contentment the steady growth in bilateral defence relations, the Foreign Office spokesperson said in a press release.

Foreign Minister Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s resolve to further deepen and diversify bilateral cooperation in the fields of defence and defence production.

The two ministers agreed to continue exchanging senior level delegations to sustain the positive momentum in the growing defence relationship between the two countries.

The Iraqi defence minister fondly recalled his visit to Islamabad in February and appreciated the professionalism of Pakistan’s armed forces and the technical advancements made by the country in defence production. The foreign minister concluded his three-day visit to Iraq on Sunday.

Published in Dawn, May 31st, 2021

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