Macron arrives in Iraq


French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday arrived in Baghdad on his first official visit to the Iraqi capital for talks with the country’s top leaders over bilateral relations.

Macron is expected to meet his Iraqi counterpart Barham Salih and Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi as well as other top officials during his one-day visit, reports Xinhua news agency.

Coming straight from a two-day trip to Beirut, Macron will be the most significant leader to visit Iraq since Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi came to power in May, according to a France 24 report.

The trip was not publicly announced until Tuesday evening.

Addressing reporters in Beirut, the President said he was heading to Baghdad “to launch an initiative alongside the UN to support a process of sovereignty”, adding that “the fight for Iraq’s sovereignty is essential”.

France is part of a US-led international coalition tasked with helping the Iraqi security forces fight against the Islamic State militants by carrying out airstrikes in Iraq and Syria as well as providing military equipment and training to domestic forces.

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