Baghdad, September 12, 2014
We’ve spoken on the telephone so many times since you were elected. But I was keen to be here in Baghdad today, because there’s a new government in Iraq, which has been formed democratically and has managed to bring together all sectors of the Iraqi people. And you’ve played a major role in this.
That’s why it’s an honour for me to be the first head of state to be welcomed here to Baghdad since the formation of this new government and to express to you France’s support and friendship.
This solidarity takes several forms. First of all, political solidarity. France stands alongside Iraq because Iraq is a country which has conducted its democratic transition and been able to organize elections and form a government – a government including all the political families. Moreover, at the lunch you’ve planned to organize, I’ll be with all the party leaders representing the Iraqi people.
France’s solidarity is also humanitarian and security-related. You’re facing an enemy, a terrorist group which has no borders but now has territorial interests and wants to wage war not only on Iraq but on all those peoples who don’t share that terror-based vision of the world.
By supporting Iraq, France is also enabling the international community to take control of its own destiny and its own security. That’s why you and I have decided to organize a Conference on [Peace and] Security in Iraq and the fight against that terrorist group, Daesh. The conference will be held in Paris on Monday and will mobilize a large number of countries.
The purpose of this conference is to coordinate assistance, support and actions in favour of the unity of Iraq and against that terrorist group.
France’s solidarity has also meant supplying, as soon as was possible, humanitarian assistance – this has been repeated several times and is ongoing today – and also military assistance.
Together we’ll continue, in the discussions I’ll be having with you, with the Iraqi government, to organize this solidarity, which is a reflection not only of our friendship but also of our shared interest in the fight against terrorism.
But today a new era is beginning, and I want relations between France and Iraq to take on a new dimension. That’s also the reason why I’m here, at your invitation./.