ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain said Wednesday that Pakistan attached great importance to its relations with Iraq and the Netherlands, and is keen to further expand ties with both the countries in all sectors, including trade, education and culture.
He said this during a meeting with the outgoing Ambassador of Iraq Dr Ali Al-Rahmani and Ambassador-designate to Netherlands Shujjat Ali Rathore, who called on him separately here at the President House.
The president emphasised that resumption of air links with Iraq was a priority for Pakistan, which would benefit the people of both the countries in terms of trade and tourism. It would bring the people of the two countries closer and also give them an opportunity to have better understanding of each other, he added.
He underlined that Pakistan desired to enhance cooperation with Iraq in several sectors, including trade, education and culture. He highlighted that Iraq and its capital Baghdad had extraordinary importance in the Islamic history, as besides Madina, Baghdad was the other city where Muslims used to travel for educational purposes.
The president underscored Pakistan’s strong resolve to eradicate extremism from the region, while adding that the country had also made great strides in this connection over the past few years.
He stated that Pakistan and Iraq were connected through great historical and religious links, which further deepened the existing relations between the two countries. He called for increasing the exchange of trade delegations to ensure increased people-to-people contacts between the two countries.
While appreciating the interest of Iraq in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the president said that the project would be a game changer for the entire region. The outgoing ambassador apprised the president that Iraq was interested in CPEC and planned to initiate several projects related to the energy sector.
While talking to the Ambassador-designate Shujjat Ali Rathore, the president said that Pakistan had historical trade links with the Netherlands which should be strengthened further. He stressed that the relations could be further expanded by attracting Dutch investors to invest in Pakistan.