Joint Statement of the French and Iraqi Foreign Ministers (18 October 2019)

The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, led a delegation on a visit to Iraq on 17 and 18 October. In-depth bilateral consultations were held between the French Republic and the Republic of Iraq on political and regional issues in a spirit of friendship and with the aim of strengthening bilateral relations and discussing the issues of the moment.

France and Iraq expressed their determination to consolidate the progress of the last five years of fighting carried out together against Daesh, which is now seriously in question following the destabilization of North East Syria by the Turkish offensive.

France and Iraq expressed serious concerns about the humanitarian consequences of this operation in Syria and the repercussions in Iraq, and will work in very close collaboration to manage the consequences of this situation. France is preparing to mobilize €10 million to respond to this emergency, including, as far as necessary, to benefit those who may be forced to seek refuge in Iraq.

France and Iraq are also very concerned by the possibility of a revival of Daesh, due to the threat posed by its fighters that have gone underground and the consequences of the destabilization in North East Syria on the fighters currently in this region. The fate of Daesh fighters is a crucial issue for France and Iraq’s security: the two parties will continue their dialogue with the aim of quickly finding mechanisms which ensure justice, collective security and absence of impunity. As partners within the Coalition against Daesh, the two parties expressed their desire to participate together in the coming days in a ministerial meeting of this alliance. We hope that it will enable us to define the new arrangements for continuing to fight Daesh in this new context, and the solutions to the issue of all terrorist combatants.

France will remain alongside Iraq, not only through close cooperation from security and political perspectives, but also by supporting the State and government of Iraq, humanitarian action, stabilization and reconstruction of the country and implementation of the reforms expected by the young people of Iraq, for whom France will make particular efforts from an educational and cultural perspective. The two countries intend to strengthen their cooperation in all fields to build a genuine strategic partnership, and make this relationship a factor in achieving balance and stability of the Middle East.