French President Emmanuel Macron receives Kurdish President Nechirvan Barzani
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – French President Emmanuel Macron has welcomed Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Friday.
Delighted to meet my dear friend, President @EmmanuelMacron in Paris.— Nechirvan Barzani (@IKRPresident) November 3, 2023
We discussed further strengthening ties between Iraq, Kurdistan Region, and France, as well as the ongoing developments in Iraq and beyond.
The historic bonds between the Kurdistan Region and France run… pic.twitter.com/D3JhIBdkDy
"Delighted to meet my dear friend, President @EmmanuelMacron in Paris. We discussed further strengthening ties between Iraq, Kurdistan Region, and France, as well as the ongoing developments in Iraq and beyond," Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani posted on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
"The historic bonds between the Kurdistan Region and France run deep, a testament to our shared commitment to peace, stability and prosperity."
Read More: President Nechirvan Barzani to visit France
The two sides discussed French relations with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, the development of mutual cooperation and the situation in Iraq and the region in general.
The Kurdistan Region Presidency earlier said the meeting “will revolve around bilateral relations, avenues for enhancing cooperation and the latest developments in Iraq and the wider region.”
The relations between France and the Kurdistan Region go back to the time of Daniel Mitterrand, wife of then President, François Mitterrand, who played a crucial role in convincing the French government to establish a no-fly zone during the mass exodus in 1991.
Mitterrand, at that time, also visited the nearly two million Kurdish refugees who had fled a ferocious Iraqi assault to the Turkish and Iranian borders that year. She was later named as “Mother of the Kurds” by the Kurdish leadership for her support.
Furthermore, in 2017, France played a crucial role in dismantling the diplomatic blockade imposed on the Kurdistan Region following its independence referendum in September 2017. This was achieved by extending an invitation to the then Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, with the aim of mitigating tensions between Baghdad and Erbil.
Following the referendum, Baghdad initiated a series of punitive actions against Kurdistan, including the deployment of military force to assert control over Kirkuk Province and other disputed territories.
In August 2021, the French President Macron visited the Kurdistan Region, where the Kurdish leadership warmly welcomed him.