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Shah Mehmood asks Iraqi FM to grant visa to Pakistani pilgrims

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has initiated diplomatic efforts to strengthen ties with Middle Eastern countries.

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Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Thursday met with his Iraqi counterpart Dr. Fuad Hussein and highlighted the importance of liberalizing visa regime for facilitating Pakistani Zaireen visiting religious sites in Iraq.

During the meeting took place in Turkey on the sidelines of Antalya Diplomacy Forum from June 18-20, 2021, both the foreign ministers recalled their recent engagement during Foreign Minister Qureshi’s visit to Iraq in May this year.

Foreign Minister Qureshi highlighted the importance of liberalizing the visa regime for facilitating Pakistani Zaireen visiting the religious sites in Iraq.

Both the foreign ministers also exchanged best practices in promoting religious tourism.

Qureshi also briefed his counterpart on the latest situation in Afghanistan. Highlighting Pakistan’s abiding interest in a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan, the foreign minister underscored Pakistan’s consistent efforts to facilitate the Afghan peace process.

Read more: After refusal from Pakistan, US approaches Qatar for base for Afghan security

He expressed the hope that Afghan parties would realize the opportunity and workout an inclusive politically negotiated settlement.

Both the foreign ministers agreed to continue the positive momentum in the bilateral relationship including through increased high-level interaction.

In that context, Foreign Minister Qureshi reiterated the invitation to his Iraqi counterpart to visit Pakistan. Foreign Minister Hussein responded that he looked forward to visiting Pakistan in August this year to further cement the bilateral relations.

Respect at Shrine

He welcomed the adoption of resolution at the UN Human Rights Council over holding of impartial and independent inquiry into Israeli atrocities and human rights violations of Palestinian people. He stressed that resolutions of the Palestine issue for durable peace in the Middle East and Kashmir issue for permanent peace in South Asia were must.

Read more: What’s new in Pakistan’s foreign policy viz-a-viz Saudi, Iran, US

Both sides also discussed coronavirus pandemic and Iraqi foreign minister expressed his gratitude to Pakistan for sending three planes loaded with coronavirus medical supplies. They also agreed to further their bilateral cooperation at the UN, OIC and other global fora. Earlier, Shah Mahmood Qureshi paid his respect at shrine of Hazrat Imam Kazim and offered prayers there. He also prayed for the unity, solidarity and prosperity of the Muslims and riddance of coronavirus pandemic.

APP with additional input by GVS News Desk

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