Pakistan and Iraq have made steps to enhance their relationship and collaborate in a variety of areas. Both countries’ foreign ministers, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Fuad Hussein, announced the signing of the two accords. One deal permits diplomatic and official passport holders to travel visa-free, while the other focuses on enhancing cultural relations.
The foreign minister is in Baghdad for three days and has announced his goal to enhance bilateral relations. He stated both Pakistan and Iraq have been instrumental in establishing peace in their respective regions. He also indicated a desire to open a visitor centre in Karbala.
Bhutto-Zardari acknowledged Iraq as a loyal ally and reaffirmed his commitment to mending relations and expanding economic cooperation. He praised both countries’ efforts to combat terrorism and emphasised the importance of defence cooperation and shared goals of peace, stability, and security.
The foreign minister also emphasised the importance of people-to-people contact and his aim to strengthen relationships between various sectors, including private firms, the media, universities, and researchers. Hussein, his Iraqi counterpart, confirmed the depth of their friendship and referenced defence cooperation negotiations.
Bilawal also thanked Iraq for its assistance in establishing a Pakistani consulate in Najaf. He emphasised the possibilities for more collaboration and stated a desire to deepen collaboration in areas such as water, agriculture, defence, and trade.
Both sides discussed expanding collaboration during a meeting with Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid. President Rashid stated a wish to enhance relations with Pakistan, citing Iraq’s experience against extremism and terrorism.
He also emphasised Iraq’s success in combating terrorist groups, as well as the government’s efforts to achieve stability, rebuild, and solve issues such as drought and water scarcity.
Bhutto-Zardari also met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani to discuss expanding commerce, convening joint ministerial committees, rebuilding infrastructure, enhancing connectivity, and facilitating pilgrim visits. The purpose was to improve communication between people and businesses in both countries.