France to keep working with Iraq on security challenges

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, December 12, 2017
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After Iraq’s announcement of victory over so-called Islamic State (IS), France is continuing to work with Baghdad to help it with security challenges, but also to achieve national reconciliation and reconstruction, the French Foreign Ministry said Monday.

France has deployed aircraft and artillery and special forces in the Iraq theatre to help defeat IS and President Emmanuel Macron said that he foresaw the deployment of military resources in the region until at least February 2018.

But Paris has also stressed the need to build credible and plausible political environments to encourage all communities in Iraq to fully reject militant extremism and has urged the Iraqi government to provide “inclusive governance” for all citizens.

“We are pursuing our effort to accompany Iraq in the challenges it faces in security matters, national reconciliation, reconstruction and the putting in place of inclusive governance that benefits all its population,” Deputy Spokesman Alexandre Giorgini said in a Foreign Ministry briefing.

He indicated that the establishment of an acceptable system of governance for all Iraqis was “crucial to prevent a resurgence of terrorism for the duration.”

The French official noted that France was backing Iraq’s reconstruction efforts, notably by providing a Euros 430 million (USD 500 million) budgetary loan to Baghdad which should allow the Iraqi authorities to solicit financing from other sources.

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