Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Iraq and Kuwait February 12 and 13.
In Baghdad, he met with his counterpart, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, as well as with President Fouad Massoum and Speaker of Parliament Salim al-Jubouri. He then met with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Jean-Yves Le Drian then visited Erbil to meet with Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Nechirvan Barzani, and Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani.
Jean-Yves Le Drian reiterated France’s congratulations on the progress made in the fight against Daesh and paid tribute to the courage and determination of the Iraqi forces. He confirmed France’s long-term commitment alongside them, and our desire to develop strong defense cooperation with Iraq in order to ensure lasting victory over Daesh.
The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs also welcomed the resumption of dialogue between Iraq’s central government and the authorities of the autonomous Kurdish region and reaffirmed France’s hope that an agreement can be swiftly reached while ensuring respect for the Iraqi constitution and the rights of the Kurds. During this visit, he reaffirmed our support for the facilitation efforts of Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq Jan Kubis. Lastly, he reaffirmed our wish to see Iraq embark on the path toward national reconciliation and continue its efforts to establish inclusive governance that responds to the aspirations of all components of Iraqi society, in particular the Iraqi Kurds. The minister also met with representatives of the Yazidi community, which has been persecuted by Daesh.
Jean-Yves Le Drian then visited Kuwait on February 13 to take part in the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition against Daesh and the International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq. He reaffirmed that France, which stood alongside Iraq in the fight against Daesh, will also be there to support it in its efforts to address the challenges of stabilization and reconstruction in the country.