Nechirvan Barzani holds talks with French President Macron in Paris

French President Emmanuel Macron (C) shakes hands with President of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraqi Kurdistan Netchirvan Barzani ahead of their meeting at the Elysee palace in Paris, July 10, 2019. Photo: ludovic Marin / AFP

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Nechirvan Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Region, held talks on Wednesday with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris. He said Macron accepted an invitation to Erbil.

Speaking to journalists after their short meeting, Barzani said he thanked Macron and France “for helping us in the case of [Kurdistan] Region and Baghdad relations. This was one of the main subjects of today’s meeting with His Excellency”.

They also discussed improving relations between Erbil and Paris both “economically and politically”.

Barzani said he also thanked France for its support in the war against the Islamic State (ISIS) and the humanitarian aid effort.

He said Macron has accepted an invitation to visit the Kurdistan Region.

Macron also wished the new Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) success, Barzani added.

Both sides discussed the latest security and political developments in the region, Erbil-Baghdad relations, and issues and efforts to resolve them based on the Iraqi constitution, and internally displaced people and refugees condition in the Kurdistan Region and how to help them return to their areas,” according to a readout from Barzani's office. 

Macron “expressed France’s gratitude and acknowledgement to Kurdistan Region for encountering and defeating terror and hosting internally displaced people and refugees as well as protecting religious and ethnic groups in Kurdistan Region,” according to the readout. 

Both presidents also discussed business and investment opportunities for French companies.

The French president is yet to issue a statement on their meeting.


Barzani later met with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. 

“The role of the international community, typically France, in the return of the internally displaced people to their areas” was one of the subjects discussed, according to a readout from Barzani’s office. 
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