Iraqi president back home after Egypt, France visit

Iraqi President Barham Saleh during his meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah El Sisi in Cairo

Baghdad ( – Iraqi President Barham Saleh returned to Baghdad on Tuesday following a three-day trip that took him to Egypt and France.

In Egypt, the Iraqi leader took part in the Arab League-European Union summit, which was held in the Red Sea resort city of Sharm El Sheikh.

Addressing the gathering, Saleh said that the actual victory over terrorism still necessitates exerting great efforts by all countries around the world.

The president stressed that his country has now a pioneering role in combating terrorism and extremism in light of the Arab country’s strategic location and resources.

In France, Saleh held a press conference with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, where he said that the trial of foreign Islamic State detainees who were handed over to Iraq last week by the Syrian Democratic Forces will be held in Iraq.

“They are accused of having commanded operations against Iraqis and Iraqi installations in Iraq, and they will be tried according to Iraqi law,” Reuters quoted Saleh as saying at the press conference. “We are acting within the confines of international law on this matter.”

Saleh did not explicitly say whether the detainees were French.

Macron, meanwhile, said that it would be up to the local government in Iraq to decide whether to prosecute the Islamic State detainees there.

“The exchanges between the Iraqi security forces are part of bilateral relations that they maintain with Iraq in the fight against the jihadist enemy,” Macron said of the SDF. “In this context, the decisions that were made are not to be commented on, and it is not up to me to confirm the identity of such or such person.”

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