Macron to back Iraq ‘sovereignty’ on first Baghdad visit

BAGHDAD (HRNW) – French President Emmanuel Macron landed in Baghdad Wednesday on his first official visit to Iraq, where he hopes to help the country reassert its “sovereignty” despite simmering US-Iran tensions.

Coming straight from a two-day trip to Beirut, the capital of crisis-hit Lebanon, Macron will be the most significant leader to visit Iraq since Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi came to power in May.

The trip was not publicly announced until Tuesday evening, with officials in Paris and Baghdad keeping a tight lid on arrangements for security reasons.

On his final night in Beirut, Macron announced he was heading to Baghdad “to launch an initiative alongside the United Nations to support a process of sovereignty”.

“The fight for Iraq’s sovereignty is essential,” Macron had told reporters on Friday, before departing for Lebanon.

He said Iraqis, who “suffered so much”, deserved options besides domination by regional powers or Islamist extremists.

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