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Middle East

Macron urges Iraq's al-Abadi to hold dialogue with Kurds

media French President Emmanuel Macron with Iraq's PM Haider Al-Abadi at the Elysée in October Reuters/Ludovic Marin/Pool

French President Emmanuel Macron called for dialogue between Baghad and the Kurds in a phone call to Iraqi President Haider al-Abadi on Saturday. He stressed the importance of the internatinal coalition's fight with the Islamic State (IS) armed group in Iraq and Syria.

"The president of the republic asked for everything possible to be done to avoid conflict between Iraqis and that, within the limits of the unity of Iraq and its constitution, a dialogue taking account of the rights of the Kurds and the minorities should be held between [the Iraqi Kurdish capital] Erbil and Baghdad," a statement by the Elysée presidential palace said.

After Iraqi Kurds voted for independence for their region in a referendum Baghdad declared illegal, central government troops have seized the oil-rich province of Kirkuk and much of Nineveh province from Kurdish peshmerga forces.

Macron welcomed the establishment of a committee to discuss joint deployment of Kurdish and Iraqi federal forces in the disputed areas, the statement said.

The clashes have come after a successful offensive captured most of the territory seized by IS over the last three years.

Macron and al-Abadi both "confirmed the importance of the struggle still going on in Iraqi soil to chase Daesh [IS] from all Iraqi territory with the help of the international coalition in which France is playing a full role", the Elysée statement said.


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