KDP President Barzani, French defense chief discuss ISIS threats
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) President Masoud Barzani on Thursday discussed threats from the Islamic State as well as extremist ideologies with the French Minister of Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu, according to a statement.
Barzani received Lecornu in Erbil, where they also discussed fostering bilateral ties between Paris and Erbil, a statement from the KDP leader’s office read.
They also highlighted the ongoing ISIS threats and extremism in Iraq and the Middle East, per the statement.
Following his official visit to Baghdad, the French top defense official arrived in Erbil on Wednesday and met with Kurdistan Region’s President Nechirvan Barzani.
They discussed the ongoing French support for the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the fight against ISIS.
As an integral part of the US-led coalition against ISIS, France has provided the Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga forces with training as well as air support in the Kurdish forces’ fight against the terror group between 2014 and 2017.
Two French presidents, including incumbent President Emmanuel Macron and his predecessor François Hollande, have visited the Kurdistan Region in recent years.
Erbil and Paris share close economic, cultural, and political ties. The two capitals are sister cities.
Kurdish officials praise France regularly for the effective role it played in lifting “the diplomatic embargo” imposed by Baghdad on Erbil following the Kurdistan Region’s 2017 independence referendum, in which an overwhelming 90-plus percent of KRG citizens voted in favor of secession.