Iraq submits applies to join La Francophonie, announces French Ambassador
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq recently submitted an application to become a member of the La Francophonie organization, an international body composed of countries that have French as a common language, the French Ambassador to Iraq announced on Thursday.
“Many Iraqis speak French,” Eric Chevalier, France’s ambassador to Iraq, told the Iraqi News Agency on Thursday, as he indicated that the international body requires a “significant” amount of “French speakers” in the country for membership.
Another condition is the instruction in French at the applicant country’s academic institutions, as well as the presence of "cultural exchange” programs between French and Iraqi universities, Chevalier added.
Established in 1970, the International Organization of La Francophonie aims to promote French language learning and economic, political, and cultural cooperation between its member states. 88 countries currently participate in the organization.
Members of the body are convening in May to discuss the application, and, according to the French ambassador, there is “support” for including Iraq.
The Kurdistan Region’s Salahaddin University Erbil (SUE) has a French department that teaches the language.
Established in 2009, the French Institute in Erbil provides language-learning courses to residents in the Kurdish capital.
Promoting peace, democracy, and human rights is also an objective of the organization.