France calls for national dialogue in Iraq
03 Dec 2017 - 10:39
PARIS: France’s objectives are peace and stability in Iraq and full implementation of an inclusive national government according to the 2005 constitution, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday.
Macron was hosting talks with Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Barzani and KRG Vice-PM Qubad Talabani in Paris, Macron said France backed a constitutional and unified Iraq and called for national and constructive dialogue which must include respect for all articles of the Iraqi constitution.
"France exerts all efforts to initiate dialogue [and] strengthen a unified and strong Iraq," Macron said.
The French leader added that all militia groups must be dismantled.
Barzani said his government is committed to a unified Iraq that respects its constitution.
"We do not have a problem in regards to the Iraqi constitution and we have expressed our respect for the Iraqi federal court," Barzani said. "As the Kurdistan Regional Government we are prepared to resolve issues with Baghdad with the framework of the constitution," he added.
Ties between Baghdad and the KRG have been strained since late September, when the latter held an illegitimate referendum on regional independence.
Following the poll, federal forces moved into several parts of Iraq “disputed” between Baghdad and Erbil, including the oil-rich Kirkuk province.
Barzani said "in regards to the referendum, this stage is over and we have made our position known".