By Abid Siddique Chaudhry
ISLAMABAD – Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi met His Excellency Jumaa Inad Saadoun Khattab, Iraq’s Minister of Defence, who warmly welcomed him at the Ministry of Defence in Baghdad.
Foreign Minister Qureshi rejoiced the opportunity of meeting the Iraqi Defence Minister twice within three months. Recalling the visit of Pakistan’s Minister for Defence Production to Iraq in January 2021, he expressed satisfaction at frequent interactions at the Ministerial level, which augured well for future bilateral defence ties of Pakistan and Iraq.
The two Ministers noted with contentment the steady growth in bilateral defence relations. Foreign Minister Qureshi said that this was reflected aptly by the participation of Iraqi Special Forces Paratroopers in the Pakistan National Day Parade on 23 March 2021.
The two Ministers reviewed the progress made on various aspects of defence collaboration between the two countries. The Defence Minister fondly recalled his visit to Islamabad in February 2021 and appreciated the professionalism of Pakistan’s Armed Forces and the technical advancements made by the country in Defence Production. 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 Foreign Minister will be concluding his three-day visit to Iraq today. The visit (28-30 May 2021) is being undertaken at the invitation of his Iraqi counterpart, Dr Fuad Hussein.