Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry affirmed Egypt’s support of Iraq in the fight against terrorism, and congratulated the Iraqi prime minister Haidar Al-Abadi on recent victories against the Islamic State (IS).
Meanwhile, 82 people were killed Saturday by an explosion which targeted a crowded marketplace in Baghdad. IS claimed responsibility for the attack.
During his one-day visit to the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Saturday, Shoukry relayed a message from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi regarding Egypt’s support of the current Iraqi efforts to fight terrorism.
Iraq will move forward in liberating its territories and saving its people from terrorists, Al-Abadi confirmed to Shoukry, as cited in a statement.
Egypt is ready to help Iraq in several fields. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abou Zaid said that both Shoukry and Al-Abadi discussed bilateral relations and the security cooperation programme between the two countries.
The head of the High Islamic Council and the parliamentary bloc named the Citizen Coalition, Ammar Al-Hakim, affirmed to Shoukry in a meeting that the Iraqi people are tired of factionalism and should start considering the concept of citizenship.
Shoukry also held a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim Al-Gaafary to discuss regional current affairs.
According to Abou Zaid, Al-Gaafary praised Egypt’s efforts in supporting the joint Arab cooperation. Current developments in Syria, Libya, and Yemen were also on the table for discussion.
Al-Gaafary emphasised the importance of strategic cooperation in regards to the current developments in the region, and enforcing security cooperation.
According to a statement released by the Iraqi foreign ministry, Al-Gaafary affirmed the need to activate all the memos signed with Egypt, in particular those which were signed during the meeting of the joint committee, regarding restoring stolen money.
Al-Gaafary urged the Egyptian side to ease the visa measures for Iraqis who want to visit Egypt as tourists or for business and study, calling for more consular cooperation.
Iraq is currently involved in an intense fight against IS which gained control over major areas in the country last year.
Recently, Iraqi forces seized the last remaining strongholds of IS in Fallujah after five weeks of fighting.
IS took control of the city in January 2014, and at the same time controlled a wide area of northern Iraq, declaring it a caliphate along with land it had seized in Syria.
Egypt praised efforts carried out recently by the Iraqi army in official statements.