Macron urges dialogue, an end to military operations in N. Iraq

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday called on Iraqi Federal forces and Kurdish troops to refrain from all military operations in northern Iraq and “pursue the path of dialogue” with UN assistance to find a solution to their differences.
In a statement from the Elysee Palace, the French leader said that both sides in the dispute should work towards “a lasting peace in a unified Iraq.”
Macron said that he had “taken note” that Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani would step down on November 1 and would not seek re-election. He praised Barzani’s “historic role at the head of Iraqi Kurdistan and in the fight against so-called Islamic State.
The French President stressed the long-standing friendship between France and the Kurdish people, and he said the rights of the Kurds must be “fully recognised” but “in the framework of the Iraqi constitution.”
He also indicated that he believed the forthcoming elections in Kurdistan will allow it to have a “lasting anchor in democracy.”
Macron has several times said that Iraqi unity and sovereignty must be preserved through respecting that country’s constitution and that Kurdish rights must also be fully considered in a solution through dialogue.
“France will continue to work to facilitate this dialogue in the coming weeks,” the French statement affirmed.

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