Iraq parliament speaker in France to discuss relations
Mohamed Al-Halbousi's media office said in a statement that the speaker is joined by a parliamentary delegation that will meet with the President of France’s National Assembly Richard Ferrand, President of the French Senate Gerard Larcher, along with other officials.
Iraqi MP Walid Al-Sahlani told The New Arab’s sister site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, that the delegation will discuss a number of important matters and "ways to develop historical relations between Iraq and France, and the importance of signing a strategic agreement".
Al-Halbousi "will praise the French role in support of Iraq’s war against the terrorist organisation the Islamic State (IS) within the international coalition forces led by the US, as well as Paris’ role in supporting the early Iraqi elections".
The crunch vote is scheduled to take place in October and mark a new phase in post-IS Iraq's development.
The Iraqi delegation will discuss how Paris can continue to support Baghdad economically, as it has done in the northern city of Mosul, which IS was once in control of.
"Iraq is counting on the important role of France… to support it in the fight against terrorism," the lawmaker said.
French soldiers present in Iraq have continued to support local efforts in pursuing remnants of IS in the war-ravaged country.
French President Emmanuel Macron made a trip to Iraq in September last year, where he pledged economic, military, and political support for the embattled government of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.
The move reignited discussion about France's role in the country after its former support for the regime of Saddam Hussein.