Pakistan, Iraq pledge to solidify ties

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Iraqi Prime Minister to visit Pakistan soon, solution of Afghan issue essential for regional peace and stability: Dr. Fuad Hussein

Ansar M Bhatti

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister of Iraq Dr. Fuad Hussein has said he was worried about what was happening in Afghanistan adding he was satisfied with the role Pakistan was playing towards an amicable resolution of this conflict.

He further said peace in Afghanistan is necessary for regional peace and stability therefore all stakeholders, especially the neighbors should sit together and help resolve this issue.

He said by end of this month Iraq was hosting a conference of neighboring countries with a view to settle any issues through peaceful means as Iraq strongly believes that all disputes can only be resolved through peaceful means.

The Iraqi foreign minister disclosed that the Prime Minister of Iraq has accepted the invitation to visit Pakistan and modalities of the visit are being finalized.

To a question about facilitation of Zaireen he said he will take up this issue with the Interior Minister of Iraq for better facilitation of Pakistani pilgrims. “We are going to work on that and we will solve this problem as Pakistani people are very welcome in Iraq”, he added.

On Palestine issue, the minister said we believe in right of self determination for the people of Palestine issue. On Yemen crisis, the minister said Yemen and other crises have regional dimensions as well therefore we thing the world should join hands to seek solutions of these crises including the Yemen crises.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Pakistan wanted to have durable relations with Iraq in all fields. He welcomed Iraqi foreign minister on his first ever visit to Pakistan.

Qureshi said on the occasion Pakistan wants durable peace in Afghanistan and will continue to play its constructive role in this regard despite baseless allegations of Ashraf Ghani.

The Foreign Minister said Pakistan always played a positive role for peace in Afghanistan and Pakistani delegation is also present in the Peace Dialogue being held in Doha. He said the world is appreciating and acknowledging Pakistan’s reconciliatory and sincere efforts for peace in Afghanistan.

He said that unfortunately, Pakistan is being blamed for the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan by some Afghan elements. He said the role of these spoilers should be monitored strictly.The Foreign Minister urged all stakeholders for collective hard work and efforts for regional peace as rising violence in Afghanistan is very concerning for Pakistan.

The Foreign Minister expressed deep concern over the negative role of India as president of the UN Security Council for a month.

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. 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 was under consideration. Also, plans are underway to set up a Pakistan House at Karbala and a medical centre to facilitate the pilgrims.