ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – During a phone chat on Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi expressed a willingness to deepen bilateral cooperation between the two nations in a variety of sectors, including commerce, investment, infrastructure development, and religious tourism.

The Prime Minister wished the Iraqi government luck in holding parliamentary elections this October, and expressed optimism that democracy and democratic institutions would be reinforced in Iraq. He also complimented Iraq’s Prime Minister on the success of last month’s Baghdad Conference for Cooperation and Partnership.

The Prime Minister praised the Iraqi government for accommodating thousands of Pakistani Zaireen who visit Iraq for religious reasons each year. He underlined that increasing religious tourism between the two countries might be beneficial to both. Recognizing the religious feelings of Zaireen from Pakistan, Prime Minister Al-Kadhimi promised to provide more assistance in this respect.

The situation in Afghanistan was also discussed. The Prime Minister reminded his Iraqi colleague of Pakistan’s continued support for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, emphasising the importance of Afghan peace and stability for regional peace and security. He underlined the need of the international community’s ongoing engagement with Afghanistan to achieve peace and security, particularly in preventing a humanitarian disaster and economic meltdown.

Prime Minister Imran Khan also emphasised Pakistan’s contribution of humanitarian aid in a variety of methods for their Afghan brothers and sisters via air and land channels.

Both Prime Ministers agreed on the necessity of providing immediate humanitarian aid to Afghans and releasing cash to avert an imminent economic disaster in Afghanistan.

The two leaders also agreed to maintain regular communication in order to strengthen bilateral cooperation in a variety of sectors. The Prime Minister expressed optimism that the Iraqi Prime Minister will pay a bilateral visit to Pakistan shortly.

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