Pakistan's Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Nadeem Raza and Iraq's Defense Minister Juma Anaad Sadoun discuss defense collaboration between the two countries. Image Credit: Supplied

Islamabad: Pakistan and Iraq officials agreed to bolster military cooperation as Islamabad offered to provide training to Iraqi armed forces during the visit of Iraqi defence minister to Islamabad.

Iraq’s Defense Minister Juma Anaad Sadoun held separate meetings with Pakistan’s top government and military officials during his four-day (24-27 February 2021) visit focused on strengthening bilateral relations especially cooperation in the field of defence.

During the interaction, Pakistan’s President Dr Arif Alvi offered training programs for the Iraqi military personnel in Pakistan as well as technical assistance and human resource for infrastructure development in Iraq.

“Pakistan attaches great importance to the mutually beneficial relations with Iraq and wants to further strengthen bilateral relations in the areas of trade, economy and defence” President Alvi said. The Iraqi minister expressed Iraq’s desire to improve economic and political relations as well as defence ties with Pakistan.

Possible assistance

The Iraqi defence minister also discussed measures to further enhance bilateral defence and security collaboration during his meeting with Pakistan’s Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the GHQ.

Pakistan’s army chief offered all possible assistance and cooperation in development and defence related fields to Iraq, stating that “Pakistan values its brotherly relationship with Iraq and acknowledges sacrifices rendered by the Iraqi nation in fighting terrorism.” The visiting dignitary praised Pakistan’s continuous efforts for peace and stability in the region.

Pakistan’s Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Nadeem Raza and Iraq’s defence minister, in a separate session at joint staff headquarters, reaffirmed their determination to work together for enhancing security and stability in the region.

Iraq’s Defense Minister Juma Anaad Sadoun also met Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Minister For Defense Production Zobaida Jalal on February 26 to exchange views on future collaboration.

Qureshi hoped that the visit would “help diversify and deepen collaboration between the two countries in the fields of defence and defence production.” The two ministers reaffirmed the mutual desire to further promote and solidify existing bilateral relations.

Pakistan is looking to enhance defense cooperation with Baghdad particularly with the training and development of Iraqi armed forces.

Last month, Minister For Defense Production Zobaida Jalal and her delegation visited Baghdad where she held a meeting with the President of Iraq, Barham Salih, to discuss the bilateral cooperation in the defense sector.