French foreign minister tours Najaf, Iraq's holy Shia city
Le Drian met a leading Shia cleric in the holy city of Najaf, to the south of Baghdad, capping off a two-day trip to Iraq which saw Paris pledge a huge loan to help the country re-build after the punishing war against the Islamic State group.
On Tuesday he visited the tomb of Imam Ali, son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed and the founding figure of Shia Islam.
There he met Iraq's hugely influential Shia clerics, including Ayatollah Mohammad Said al-Hakim and Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, who made the call for Iraqis to fight IS in 2014, just as the group were moving on Baghdad.
The French foreign minister met Prime Minister Adel Abdel-Mahdi and President Barham Saleh in the Iraqi capital, where he pledged $1.1 billion for the government over the next four years to help in rebuilding.
"French businesses are absolutely available to contribute to Iraq's reconstruction," Le Drian said.