France President extends support to Iraq in fight against terrorism
BAGHDAD: French President Francois Hollande on Friday
met Iraq’s new leaders in Baghdad and pledged his support to Iraq in the fight
against terrorism, media reported.
In a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart
Fuad Masoum, Hollande said his visit to Baghdad was an expression of solidarity
with Iraq, and added that “we are cooperating with Iraq in security and
political field to confront the common enemy,” Xinhua reported citing official
Hollande said France has decided to call for an
international conference in Paris next Monday which is aimed at coordinating
the support efforts that would ensure Iraq’s unity and fight against the
Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.
On his part, Masoum thanked Hollande for his efforts
to hold an international conference to support Iraq in fighting terrorism and
wished that “the relationship between Iraq and France will always be friendly.”
Later, Hollande met Iraqi Prime Minister Haider
al-Abadi and discussed bilateral relations and the topics that would be covered
by the planned conference.
Hollande is also expected to meet parliament Speaker
Salim al-Jubouri as well as other Iraqi officials before he travels to Erbil,
the capital of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan to meet Kurdish leader
Masoud Barzani, according to media reports.
Iraq is witnessing a worsening security situation that
began in June when armed Sunni insurgents, spearheaded by the IS, launched a
surprise offensive that led to the debacle of Iraqi security forces and the
fall of a large part of the country's northern and western territories.