Pakistan and Iraq have made efforts to improve their relationship and increase collaboration in different areas. Foreign ministers of both countries, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Fuad Hussein, announced the signing of two agreements. One agreement allows for visa-free travel for diplomatic and official passport holders, while the other focuses on increasing cultural cooperation.
The foreign minister is visiting Baghdad for three days and stated his intention to strengthen the relationship between the two countries. He mentioned that Pakistan and Iraq have been important in promoting peace in their region. He also expressed hope to establish a visitor center in Karbala.
Bhutto-Zardari referred to Iraq as a true friend and reiterated his dedication to improving their relationship and increasing economic cooperation. He recognized the efforts of both countries in fighting terrorism and emphasized the importance of defense cooperation and shared goals of peace, stability, and security.
The foreign minister also mentioned the importance of people-to-people contact and his desire to increase interactions between different sectors such as private businesses, media, academia, and researchers. His Iraqi counterpart, Hussein, confirmed the strength of their relationship and mentioned discussions on defense cooperation.
Additionally, Bilawal thanked Iraq for supporting the opening of a Pakistani consulate in Najaf. He emphasized the potential for increased cooperation and expressed his eagerness to expand collaboration in areas such as water, agriculture, defense, and trade.
During a meeting with Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid, both sides discussed increasing cooperation. President Rashid expressed his desire to improve relations with Pakistan and mentioned Iraq’s experience in fighting extremism and terrorism.
He also mentioned Iraq’s success in defeating terrorist groups and the government’s efforts towards stability, reconstruction, and addressing challenges such as drought and water scarcity.
Bhutto-Zardari also met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani to discuss topics such as increasing trade, holding joint ministerial commissions, rebuilding infrastructure, improving connectivity, and facilitating visits by pilgrims. The goal was to increase contact between people and businesses from both countries.