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Macron pleads for the rights of the Kurds to be recognized in the Iraqi Constitution

The French president received the Iraqi Prime Minister; They commented on the massive yes to independence during the referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan on 25 September.

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Macron pleads for the rights of the Kurds to be recognized in the Iraqi Constitution
The French president welcomed Iraqi Prime minister on Thursday 5 October, on backdrop of increased tension in Iraq since holding of referendum on independence in Iraqi Kurdistan, which raised more than 90% of vote. During a joint press conference at end of his meeting with Haïder Al-Abadi, Emmanuel Macron felt that rights of Kurds had to be "recognized within framework of Iraqi Constitution".

We plead for recognition of right of Kurds in framework of Constitution (...) There is a path to respect for right of peoples, which helps to preserve framework of Constitution and stability and territorial integrity of Iraq, said Mr Macron, commenting on massive yes to independence issued on 25 September.

I stressed France's desire to see Iraq embark on path of national reconciliation to establish an inclusive governance that responds to aspirations of all components of Iraqi society, including Kurds of Iraq with whom France has links of friendship, he added. "France is ready if Iraqi authority wishes to contribute actively to mediation initiated by United Nations," he continued. In his statement, Mr. Abadi did not mention this mediation.

The French president reiterated to Mr. Abadi " full and whole commitment" of France in Antijihadist coalition. "We will continue to end and as long as it takes to be present," said Mr. Macron, also promising to open "a new page of bilateral relationship" between Paris and Baghdad.

READ ALSO: The question of Kurdistan embarrasses Elysee

"We don't want armed confrontation"

Haïder Al-Abadi stated, on or hand, that positions of central state should prevail. "I appeal to all: we do not want armed confrontation." We do not want confrontation. But federal authority must prevail, said Mr. Abadi at end of his meeting with head of French state.

"I call on Peshmergas to work alongside us as we worked toger against Daech [Arabic acronym of Islamic State Organization, EI], to guarantee security of our citizens," insisted Iraqi prime minister, while repeating that Kurdish "separatism" was not "acceptable".

This crisis intervenes as Iraq is on move to regain control of all fiefs of EI, a fight in which Kurdish peshmergas are often in front line. Mr. Abadi also solemnly announced "liberation" of city of Hawija, last major urban centre of Islamic State in Iraq. Its recovery leaves jihadist organization only one stronghold in country: towns of Al-Qaïm and Rawa, in border desert of Syria.

The some 5.5 million Kurds from this autonomous region of Iraq have overwhelmingly voted yes to independence, to 92.7% of votes, according to official results of referendum. As a retaliatory measure, Baghdad interrupted air routes between Iraqi Kurdistan and foreign country on Friday and asked region to cancel referendum.

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