Pak-Iraq FMs discuss matters of mutual interest, prospects of deepening ties

Pakistan desires to further enhance bilateral ties with Ukraine: FM

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ISLAMABAD, Iraqi Foreign Minister Dr Fuad Hussein on Wednesday assured Pakistan of introducing a new visa policy for Pakistani pilgrims aimed at facilitating their visits to the holy sites in Iraq.In a joint press stakeout along with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the visiting Iraqi foreign minister said every possible facilitation would be extended to Pakistanis visiting holy places in Karbala and Najaf.The two foreign ministers, who earlier led delegation-level talks, focused on bilateral and regional consultations on trade, energy, religious tourism, defence cooperation, human resource, employment and consular matters.FM Dr Fuad Hussein said he would discuss with the Iraqi interior minister to “make it easier for Pakistani pilgrims”, adding that promoting people-to-people level contacts was in the interest of both countries.Foreign Minister Qureshi mentioned that the issue of smooth issuance of visas for Pakistani pilgrims to Iraq, especially during Muharram, was taken up.On the personal interest of Prime Minister Imran Khan, he said, a pilgrims management policy Pakistan and Iraq also inked Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on holding bilateral political consultations.Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Iraqi counterpart Dr. Fuad Hussain inked the document at the signing ceremony held here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The MoU is expected to further enhance the existing friendly relations between Pakistan and Iraq and give a new dimension to cooperation in diverse areas.Earlier, the two foreign ministers led delegation-level talks encompassing a gamut of matters pertaining to bilateral, regional and international importance.Dr Fuad Hussain also planted a sapling at the lawns of the Ministry.The Iraqi foreign minister arrived on a two-day visit this morning at the invitation of Foreign Minister Qureshi.Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi Tuesday emphasized that Pakistan highly valued its relations with Ukraine and desired to further enhance bilateral cooperation in all areas of mutual interest including political, trade and investment, defence, education and culture.The foreign minister held a telephonic conversation with Foreign Minister of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba and exchanged views on the entire gamut of bilateral relations.The foreign minister highlighted Pakistan’s focus on geo-economics as per the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and reiterated the importance of augmenting economic ties between Pakistan and Ukraine.He underlined the need for the Pakistan-Ukraine Business Council to play an instrumental role in this regard.The two foreign ministers agreed to hold the next round of Bilateral Political Consultations (BPC) and inaugural session of Pakistan-Ukrainian Joint Economic Commission in September 2021.“The telephone conversation was in the spirit of Pakistan-Ukraine friendly relations. Our ties are underpinned by close bilateral cooperation and collaboration on issues of regional and global importance,” a press release said.They stressed the importance of exchanging high-level visits between the two countries to boost bilateral relations further.Foreign minister Qureshi and foreign minister Kuleba extended invitations to each other to undertake bilateral visits and also agreed to remain in regular contact.

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