Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Macron Says France Committed to ISIS Fight, Slams Iran’s 'Aggressive Intentions'

Macron Says France Committed to ISIS Fight, Slams Iran’s 'Aggressive Intentions'

Monday, 6 January, 2020 - 10:15
French President Emmanuel Macron. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat

French President Emmanuel Macron stressed on Monday that Paris is committed to continue the fight against the ISIS group, including through France's military presence in the Middle East.

Speaking during a cabinet meeting, he also condemns Iran’s “aggressive intentions" and its decision to abandon the 2015 nuclear deal.

Government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye said the French leader called for a deescalation of tensions over recent events, including the US airstrike that killed Iran's top military commander, Qassem Soleimani, last week in Baghdad.

Iran has vowed revenge against Washington and announced Sunday its abandonment of the nuclear pact. The Iraqi parliament backed on Sunday a recommendation by the prime minister that all foreign troops should be ordered out.

Around 5,000 US troops remain in Iraq, most in an advisory capacity.

France has over 1,000 troops involved in the military operation against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

In a phone call with President Donald Trump on Sunday, Macron expressed his “full solidarity” with the US-led coalition in Iraq and France’s determination to work with partners to ease tensions.

Earlier, France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire warned that tensions in the Middle East could encourage ISIS to regroup.

Le Maire said on France-Inter radio that “you must always ask who is served by and who profits from this instability. The instability in the Mideast today benefits only one organization: the ISIS group."

He added that the instability “will increase the terrorist threat over France and Europe.”

Editor Picks