France and Iraq strengthen ties
In mid-October, the new Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa al-Kazemi, is scheduled to begin a European tour, with an official visit to Paris. The Iraqi Foreign Minister, Fuad Hussein, assured that this visit is part of “a French desire to strengthen relations with Iraq, accompanied by the Iraqi desire to strengthen relations with France.”
With this trip, the Al-Kazemi Administration intends to request the purchase of French weapons to meet the needs of the Iraqi Army, according to statements by Hussein.
The French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, received his Iraqi counterpart this past September 18, and the French minister stressed the determination of his country to continue in the fight against Daesh and also expressed the desire of Eliseo to strengthen cooperation with Iraq in all areas (political, security, economic, humanitarian, educational and cultural).
“There are economic projects that have been advanced and have obtained initial approval, so French companies implement these projects to help Iraq, and they are projects that deal with infrastructure, services and others that deal with energy and the sector. tanker, in addition to discussing military and security issues, “said the Iraqi Foreign Minister.
On September 2, the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, visited Baghdad on an official trip where he promised economic, military and political support.
On this visit, the French president announced a large number of aid and support packages to back the beleaguered Iraqi government, while the United States continues to reduce its presence in Iraq 17 years after the invasion.
The Government of Iraq wrote on its official Twitter account upon Macron’s arrival in the country that “France is a colleague and friend of Iraq who has supported the Iraqi Armed Forces in the war against Daesh.”
France, which has been very present in the evolution of Lebanese politics since the explosion in the port of Beirut on August 4, now also looks towards Baghdad and its uncertain political scene.
Macron became the first foreign head of state to visit the country since Al-Kazemi took over as prime minister in May.
“Iraq has to assert its sovereignty,” despite being in the middle of a conflict between the United States and Iran. “Iraq has gone through a challenging time for several years, with war and terrorism,” said the French leader from the Iraqi capital.
He also pointed out that the country is still struggling to reactivate its economy, improve its educational system and put “military elements and militias” under state control.
In recent months, Iraq has been the scene of several indiscriminate attacks and killings against activists, researchers and civilians, almost a year after the start of the massive protests in October last year, which were met with a violent response. The United Nations expressed its concern about the lack of investigations into the abuses committed during the protests against the Iraqi government, which killed more than 450 people.
Before leaving the Middle Eastern country, Macron said that “these challenges unfold in an extraordinarily tense regional context, with strong Iranian influence and repeated incursions by Turkey, which increasingly intervenes in internal Iraqi affairs.”
France has provided political, diplomatic, military and humanitarian support to the Iraqi authorities in the implementation of a policy of national reconciliation and in the fight against Daesh, which in recent months are regaining their presence.
According to the official website of French diplomacy, the French country contributes three million euros to the Immediate Stabilization Fund of the United Nations Program for the development of Iraq and there have been several official visits by the French authorities to Iraqi territory.