French President met with Kurdistan Region President promised to continue support for its efforts to resolve longstanding issues with Baghdad.
During his first visit to Iraq Hon, Emmanuel Macron talked at the private meeting with Kurdish President Nechirvan Barzani expressed gratitude and praise to Peshmerga for its role in defeating the Islamic State's so-called ISIS, the caliphate in Iraq. President Macron reiterated France’s support of the region in efforts to negotiate crucial disputes with Baghdad on issues including oil, budget, and territory claimed by both.
In the meeting, Hon. Barzani and Hon. Macron also highlighted continued Islamic State activity in Iraq and the importance of continuing the fight against its extremist fighters to ensure the security of Iraq and the region.
Hon. Macron stated the fight against IS is not over, even if there are retreats from some territory.
“The fight against ISIS, which France is fully invested in as part of international coalition, will continue,” he said.
Both leaders agreed that unified approach to the issue of ISIS is key to Iraqi national stability and that the international community’s cooperation was vital to the process.
ISIS continues attacking
Kurdish commentators observed that France appeared closer to the Kurdish position than the US, which tends to emphasise the victory over the Islamic State, while Hon. Macron and Hon. Barzani together stressed the significant continued threat.
Since its territorial defeat in late 2017, the Islamic State has continued to stage regular attacks in several areas across Iraq, prominent among them the disputed territories.
There have been several attacks in recent weeks across these areas that have killed multiple security force members and civilians.
On Sunday, General Jabar Yawar, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Peshmerga, said that the Islamic State has been behind 147 separate incidents in territories disputed by the regional and federal governments that have resulted in 650 casualties.