Macron calls Abadi as Iraq concludes Kirkuk takeover

Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi (left) and France President Emmanuel Macron (right)

Baghdad ( Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi received a phone call from France’s President Emmanuel Macron to discuss latest developments as Iraqi forces complete the takeover of Kirkuk province from Kurdish troops.

According to a statement from Abadi’s media office late Tuesday, the call discussed Iraqi operations in Kirkuk as well as counter-terrorism efforts and bilateral relations.

“Abadi stressed that measures taken by the Iraqi government were legal and constitutional, seeking to impose federal government authority over Kirkuk,” said the statement.

It added that Macron voiced his support for”the constitutional steps taken by the Iraqi government to preserve Iraq’s unity,”  read the statement.

The call came as Iraq’s Joint Operations Command said its forces “completed security enforcement duties in what is left of Kirkuk” in addition to Kurdish-held regions in Nineveh.

Iraqi forces seized Kirkuk’s main oil fields, military bases, airports and government facilities as part of an operation that launched late Sunday. Baghdad had declared intentions to retake areas disputed on with Erbil following the Kurdistan Region’s vote for independence from Iraq in September.

Baghdad has reiterated it would never recognize the result of the independence referendum, while Erbil insisted it should be the basis of future negotiations on disputed issues.


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