ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian arrived in Baghdad to discuss reconstruction efforts in Iraq following the defeat of the Islamic State (IS).
Le Drian met with his Iraqi President Fuad Masum, Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, and Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri.
His visit coincided with the start of the International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq being held in Kuwait, which will go on until Wednesday as dozens of participating countries look to help rebuild the war-torn country.
The French official said his country would continue its support to Iraq and was looking forward to contributing to the reconstruction efforts in liberated areas.
Le Drian also revealed French President Emmanuel Macron would visit Iraq “in the near future,” according to the Iraqi Foreign Ministry’s press office.
He did not specify the date of the visit which would be the first of its kind since Macron took office in May 2017.
A source from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) told Kurdistan 24 that the French Foreign Minister would also visit Erbil, the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region.
France is a member of the US-led coalition against IS which has provided military support to both Iraqi and Kurdish forces over the past few years.
The French Minister’s visit to Iraq comes one day after German Defense Minister Ursula Von der Leyen traveled to both Erbil and Baghdad.
Iraq needs $100 billion to rebuild damaged and destroyed infrastructure as well as its economy, according to Iraq’s top officials.
Political analysts believe that the enduring corruption in Iraq’s upper echelons of government may prompt countries to abstain from donating significant sums of financial assistance.
The United States, which leads the Global Coalition and provided Iraq with crucial air support in the fight against the jihadist group, announced it does not plan to contribute any money at the Kuwait conference.
Editing by Nadia Riva