President, During the Joint Press Conference with French President, Stresses the Need to Respect Iraq's Sovereignty and Boost its Stability


President Salih underlined the importance of the historical relations between Iraq and France, noting that there are many aspirations and the global commons which would serve the interests of the two friendly countries.
The President, during a Joint press conference which was held today at the Baghdad Palace with French President, welcomed France's President Emmanuel Macron, and named him " a dear friend ".
  It is an important opportunity to growing Iraqi-French ties which are good and long standing relationships throughout the history; We look forward to reinforcing our partnership with France to establish a genuine strategic partnership which could be achieved by activating signed agreements between the two countries or through so called a strategic road map, he said.
His Excellency Salih commended France's distinctive role in helping Iraq to confront terrorism and to achieve the victory which has been made by the sacrifices of Iraqis as well as with the support of the international community and the international coalition which France played a distinctive role.
However, he pointed out that challenges remain ahead of Iraq. It, therefore, needs the support of the friends and International Community to enable him to reinforce its security capabilities, to cooperate in the reconstruction of the liberated areas, to return displaced persons to their cities in addition to drying up the sources of financing terrorism, which represent a long-standing factor for extremists.
On the economic side, the President stated that there are plenty of projects and contracts which some of them would be announced. However, it is hoped that these projects and contracts would serve Iraqi economy and the relation between the two nations.
Furthermore, he confirmed that Iraqi leadership looks forward to Iraq having a pivotal and essential role in the region. He added that the region witnessed many wars and conflicts so peace and stability need to be prevailed. These would begin from enhancing Iraq's role as a capable sovereign country enjoying balanced relations with its neighbors and the international community.
He asserted that Iraq's sovereignty must be respected, and its internal affairs should not be interfered, stressing that Iraq would not be a battleground for various political agendas so everybody is called for supporting its stability in order to realize peoples' aspirations to have further development and a more prosperous region.  
"We look forward to a long visit by President Macron next year as he will be visiting various States; our friend is eager to support Iraq and to boost Iraqis' aspiration to live a life of freedom and dignity," President Salih said.
President Macron, in turn, thanked President Salih for his kind words of welcome, and expressed the depth of friendship between the Iraqi and French peoples.
Mr. Macron noted that Iraq is facing great challenges; it is the critical juncture as ISIS remains in the region, and still exists in Iraqi soil as well. He said that France is committed to stand beside Iraq in the war against terrorism within the framework of the international coalition, stressing the necessity of respecting the Iraqi sovereignty.
Furthermore, French President clarified that the second challenge facing Iraq is the many external interventions which came from past or recent years; and these would weaken the government and the country, and affect the interests of the Iraqi nation.
Mr. Macron added that what is so important about the visit as Iraq plays an important role in the region. He said that, " You are the cradle of civilizations. You are a power for stability. You have an important role and privileged relationships in the region."
Moreover, he described his moment in Baghdad as "very important", especially that he will meet Iraqi officials in the next few hours. He confirmed that we are confident that you will lead an important transitional phase in building the Iraqi sovereignty.
President Macron renewed his country's support and backing of the international community to Iraq, and indicated that there is a will to implement a firm policy in the social, economic, educational and cultural fields. To that end, the international community and France have a desire to support Iraq.