ERBIL Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The President of the Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani, met French President Francois Hollande in Élysée Palace on Thursday following meetings with the French Defense Minister and the mayor of Paris.
Barzani’s meeting with Hollande followed his conversations with the French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo on Wednesday.
In response to the question of a Kurdistan24 reporter in Paris, Barzani stated that in the meeting with the French Defense Minister, he discussed military and security related topics.
In an interview with reporters on Thursday, Barzani said that Baghdad is gradually coming to terms with becoming a friendly neighbor of Kurdistan.
Independence has been the most important subject discussed with all European officials, Barzani said.
No country is against Kurdistan independence but there might be differences on the timeline of declaring independence, Barzani added, saying that the Middle East is undergoing much change.
France is one of the members of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS) that has been substantially active in aiding Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the fight against the jihadist groups that share over 1,000 km (620 miles) border with IS.
Halgurd Hikmat, the spokesperson of Peshmerga Ministry, told Kurdistan24 that France is one of the most active supporters of the Kurdistan Region in combating Da’esh, using Arabic pejorative for IS.
Hollande visited Erbil the capital of the Kurdistan Region on September 12, 2014 at a time when IS was less than 50 km (30 miles) away from Erbil.
Editing by Ava Homa