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Presidents Barzani discusses bilateral ties with France's Macron

  2021-03-30  | 
 Zhyan News Network
Kurdistan Regional President Nechirvan Barzani (L) and France’s President Emmanuel Macron (R) in face masks meet at the presidential Elyse Palace, Paris, France, March 30,2021. Photo by Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani met with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron at the presidential Elyse Palace in Paris on Tuesday (march 30) and discussed the bilateral ties between the Kurdistan Region and France. 

Barzani arrived on Monday night in Paris for meetings with the French officials following a formal invitation from the French president. 

“I am delighted to have met my friend President Emmanuel Macron today in Paris. I reiterated my appreciation for France’s continued support to the Kurdistan Region,” Barzani tweeted. 

“We discussed bilateral ties, pressing Iraqi and regional issues, as well as opportunities and challenges ahead.”

The resurgence and threats pose by ISIS militants, France’s cooperation and assistance to the Peshmerga and the Iraqi army in the disputes areas claimed by Erbil and Baghdad were discussed, the Kurdistan Region Presidency said in a statement. 

The latest developments in light of COVID-19 pandemic in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq and France and measures to combat the contagious disease were discussed, as well as the return of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees to their places of origin, said the Barzani’s office.

This was the fourth meeting between both leaders as the pair met last time in Baghdad in September 2020 during a short trip by Macron to Iraq. It was also the third official visit by Barzani to France.

Later, Barzani also met with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris. 

The relations between the Kurds and France date back to the 1980s when then first French lady Danielle Mitterrand (1981-1995) advocated Kurds suffering under the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein and was a vocal advocate for a campaign for no-fly zone that led tothe Kurdistan Region’s development to its current autonomy.

Late French President Francois Mitterrand fostered the UN Security Council to establish a no-fly zone in 1991 following the 1991 Uprising that hindered an advance by the former Iraqi regime to return to the Kurdish areas.

France also supplied the Kurdistan Region with medical aid in July last year as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the Region.

The Kurds and France have had a robust relation in recent years, especially in the fight against the ISIS militant group, which the latter is a component of the US-led Global Coalition Against Daesh/ISIS that helped the Kurdish forces to defeat the militant group in Syria and Iraq.

(Zhyan English)