In his first trip to Paris as prime minister of Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, the doors of the Elysee presidential palace opens to Nechirvan Barzani and his deputy Qubad Talabani, who will meet President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday morning, signaling the French interest in the Kurdish file and its efforts to play a mediating role between Irbil and Baghdad.
Macron and Barzani will hold a joint press conference following their meeting on Saturday, the same scenario when Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited Paris last October during the midst of the crisis between Irbil and Baghdad.
This protocol procedure signals Paris’ hopes to provide a political support to the Kurdistan Region in the failed post-referendum phase.
Ahead of Barzani’s visit to Paris on Saturday, French circles told Asharq Al-Awsat that Irbil had “committed a big mistake” when it insisted to hold the referendum on independence and that former President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani entered into “an uncalculated adventure.”
The sources said that the stable French position is attached to the “unity of Iraq and the safety of its territories, while at the same time, Paris is attached to the rights of the Kurds.”
According to the same sources, the “Iraqi Constitution” should be a decisive reference in ending any dispute between the two sides.
“Barzani and Macron will discuss on Saturday the continuous war on terrorism and particularly on ISIS and the means to manage the post-referendum phase, in addition to launching dialogue between the two sides to solve the thorny disputes,” the sources said.
Paris had repeatedly called on al-Abadi to accept holding talks with the Kurdistan Region officials.
“However, Paris will not uncover proposals to remove the crisis from the depth of the bottle. Maybe today’s meeting at the Elysee will be a chance for Paris to reactivate its previous initiative,” the sources added.