The first consignment of relief goods sent by Pakistan to Iraq was received this weekend by Iraqi officials and Pakistani embassy staff in Baghdad. Image Credit: Supplied

Islamabad: Pakistan has sent the first of three relief goods consignment to Iraq to help the country’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

“Pakistan is dispatching three planes-load of COVID-related relief goods to the brotherly Republic of Iraq on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The first planeload was sent this weekend and the next two consignments will be sent in the coming week, officials said. National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) chairman Lt Gen Akhtar Nawaz, senior officials of the foreign ministry and the Ambassador of Iraq to Pakistan Hamid Abbas Lafta oversaw the preparations of the relief goods.

In Baghdad, the first consignment of relief goods sent by Islamabad was received by Iraqi air force commander Major General Shihab Jahid Ali Shakarchi at Shaheed Mohammed Alaa Airforce base in Baghdad in the presence of chargé d’affaires and other Pakistan embassy officers as well as the senior Officer of Iraqi armed forces.

Global challenge

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a global challenge, which can only be contained with international solidarity and cooperation” the foreign office spokesperson said. “The government and people of Pakistan stood by their Iraqi brethren in this difficult time”, he added.

Pakistan and Iraq share long-standing fraternal ties rooted in shared faith and values. The multifaceted relationship is marked by regular high-level exchanges and growing cooperation in diverse fields, he said.

Pakistan and Iraq officials agreed to bolster military cooperation and Islamabad offered to provide training to Iraqi armed forces during the visit of the Iraqi defence minister to Islamabad in February 2021.