Kurdish President Barzani congratulates Macron on French presidential win

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - In a congratulatory message to French President-elect Emmanuel Macron on Sunday, Kurdish President Masoud Barzani emphasized continued friendship between France and the Kurdistan Region.

“In a message to Mr. Emmanuel Macron, the French-elect president, Masoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Region, congratulated him on his election as the president of France,” read an announcement from the Kurdistan Region presidency.

The statement added that Barzani stressed the message of maintaining friendly relations between the nations of Kurdistan and France. 


Macron defeated Marine Le Pen by a 66-34 percent margin in Sunday’s presidential election.

France, as a member of the US-led international coalition against ISIS, has backed the Kurdistan Region in the fight against the extremist group as the organization has threatened the region and the world since 2014.

France has donated millions of Euros in assistance for humanitarian projects because of strife in Syria and Iraq. 

During the leadership of the outgoing French President Francois Hollande, Paris and Erbil’s relations enjoyed close ties as Hollande had visited Erbil twice — the first in 2014 after Kurds turned ISIS back just kilometers away from Erbil and the second just two months ago after ISIS had been largely forced out of Kurdistani territories. Barzani paid four official visits to Paris.

France was one of the first countries to open a consulate in the Kurdish capital of Erbil after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, and it was one of the first nations to come to the assistance of the Kurds when they found themselves at war with ISIS.

The close relations between the Kurds and France go back to the aftermath of the Gulf War in 1990 when Paris actively supported a crucial UN no-fly zone order, Resolution 688, in northern Iraq, effectively paving the way for the creation of what later became the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi also congratulated Macron on the occasion of his victory.

 

Abadi stressed the need for increased cooperation and consolidation of relations “in all fields,” adding that Iraq needs French support in the war against ISIS to eliminate the oppressor.

 

Abadi also wished Macron and the French people prosperity and well being.

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