ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The people of the Kurdistan Region are grateful to France for its continued support and friendship, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Nechirvan Barzani said on Sunday in a meeting with the newly-appointed French Consul General in Erbil, Olivier Decottignies.
President Barzani congratulated Decottignies on his new role and “assured him of the Kurdistan Region’s support,” a statement on the KRG Presidency website read.
The Kurdish leader also conveyed his gratitude to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and France, in general, “in supporting the Kurdistan Region, stressing that the people of Kurdistan are grateful and appreciative of the friendship and…look forward to further developments of relations with France.”
President Barzani also praised Macron’s efforts and initiatives to help normalize ties between Erbil and Baghdad, leading both sides to take substantial steps toward dialogue and to solve some of their outstanding issues after the fallout in the aftermath of the historic Kurdistan independence referendum in September 2017.
According to the statement, Barzani “expressed support for French efforts to resolve differences between the Kurdish political parties in Syria.”
In Sunday’s meeting, both Barzani and Decottignies “highlighted the security, political, and economic situation in Iraq, and stressed the importance of cooperation and coordination between the Kurdistan Region and the Federal Government [of Iraq] to protect security and stability, especially in the disputed areas.”
For his part, the Consul General reaffirmed his country’s gratitude and appreciation to the autonomous Kurdish region for helping to shelter displaced persons and refugees in Iraq and Syria. He also highlighted President Macron’s plans to visit the Kurdistan Region and Iraq in late 2019, the statement added.
Decottignies replaces Dominique Mas as the new Consul General of France to the Kurdistan Region.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany