French President Hollande visits Erbil, meets President Barzani

Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani welcomed French President François Hollande in Erbil on Friday.

After his arrival in Erbil, President Hollande and President Barzani visited a refugee camp in a district in Erbil, and later held a meeting. President Hollande, the first foreign head of state to visit Erbil since the crisis began, was accompanied by Foreign Minister Laurent Fabios and Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Following their meeting with President Barzani and KRG officials, the two Presidents held a joint press conference.

President Hollande said France would continue to provide humanitarian and military aid to Kurdistan in its fight against ISIS terrorists. He said that as the Kurdistan Region is at the forefront of the fight against ISIS terrorists, a delegation from Kurdistan is invited to attend an international conference, due in Paris next week, designed to coordinate international efforts to confront the threat posed by ISIS terrorists.

The French President also highly praised the role of the Peshmerga forces in this fight and pledged increased military aid to the Peshmerga forces.

President Barzani described the visit to Kurdistan by President Hollande as historic and thanked the president and people of France for standing by the people of Kurdistan in their hour of need, saying that France was the first European Union country to come to the aid of Kurdistan in the fight against ISIS terrorists. He also added that thanks to the support of France and other countries, the Peshmrega forces are now taking the fight to ISIS and have the upper hand. President Barzani vowed that the Kurdistan Region would continue to fight until the ISIS terrorist group is uprooted and destroyed.

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