Macron invites Iraq PM to Paris to discuss Kurdish vote

MACRON30/09/2017 (Gulf Times – Qatar): French President Emmanuel Macron has invited Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to visit Paris on Thursday, saying the aim is to calm tensions after the deeply divisive Kurdish independence referendum. In a statement, the presidency said France wanted to ‘help Iraq to stop tensions from setting in’ following the vote on Monday, which saw Iraqi Kurdistan overwhelmingly support secession. In a phone call on Wednesday, ‘Macron stressed the importance of preserving the unity and integrity of Iraq while recognising the rights of the Kurdish people. Any escalation must be avoided,’ the presidency said in the statement late Friday. ‘Faced with the priority of fighting Daesh and the stabilisation of Iraq, Iraqis must remain united,’ it added, referring to the Islamic State group. The office of Abadi, however, on Saturday denied that Macron’s invitation had any link to the crisis with Iraqi Kurdistan. ‘There is no relation between the invitation and the crisis caused by the unconstitutional referendum,’ it said…




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