Iraqi and French Presidents meet over bilateral ties, anti-terrorism

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A woman holds a placard during the international anti-terrorism march in Tunis, Tunisia, on March 29, 2015. Tunisia held an international anti-terrorism march entitled "The World is Bardo" on Sunday, 11 days after the deadly terrorist attack against the Bardo museum. (Xinhua/Adel)
A woman holds a placard during the international anti-terrorism march in Tunis, Tunisia, on March 29, 2015. Tunisia held an international anti-terrorism march entitled "The World is Bardo" on Sunday, 11 days after the deadly terrorist attack against the Bardo museum. (Xinhua/Adel)

Iraqi President Barham Salih on Wednesday met with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in Baghdad to discuss bilateral ties and the war against the Islamic State (IS) group.

In a joint press conference after their meeting in the presidential palace, Salih said eliminating terrorism “requires the support of friends and the international community, and we still have a lot to do in this regard.”

“Iraq is looking forward to playing an important role in the region,” he added.

For his part, Macron said France “supports the government of Iraq and its people who are facing several challenges as the result of the war against terrorism.”

“We will continue to work on this issue within the framework of Iraqi sovereignty,” he added.

The French president said Iraq is also facing the challenge of “foreign interventions.”

Earlier in the day, Macron arrived in Baghdad to hold talks with top Iraqi leaders over bilateral relations.

Macron is also scheduled to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi as well as Nichervan Barzani, head of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) during his one-day visit.

This is Macron’s first official trip to Iraq. He is also the first presidential-level official to visit Iraq since al-Kadhimi took office in May.

France is part of a U.S.-led international coalition tasked with helping the Iraqi security forces fight against the IS militants by carrying out airstrikes against their positions in Iraq and Syria as well as providing military equipment and training to Iraqi forces.

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