Thursday, 22 August 2019 08:19 GMT

French FM praises Kurdish efforts against so-called Islamic State

(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) PARIS, Jan 24 (KUNA) -- French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Wednesday stressed the role of Kurdish fighters in helping free Iraq of the bulk of fighters from so-called Islamic State and also the role of Kurdish forces in fighting IS militants in Syria.

But he also noted that the Kurdish population had "divisions" and some factions like the PKK were branded terrorist organisations by France, Europe and others.

Le Drian told Parliament that "when we speak of Kurds, we must integrate this diversity. There is no unity (among them)." Nonetheless, the Foreign Minister said that "we have a debt and a very strong recognition with regard to the Peshmerga who helped liberate Iraq from Daesh (IS), in particular by taking back the city of Mosul." Answering questions on the current Turkish military operation against YPG Kurdish forces in Syria, Le Drian noted that these Kurdish forces in northeast Syria should be given "very great consideration" for their role against so-called Islamic State forces.

"The fighting goes on and we are supporting them," he added.

Le Drian pointed out however, that Iraq and Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) groups were terrorist organisations and he said there was "total opposition" by France to the PKK and Paris "is maintaining this position." He called for a settlement to the crises in the Middle East and underlined that the solutions in Syria and Iraq must "integrate in inclusive fashion the Kurdish communities which must be respected." (end)


French FM praises Kurdish efforts against so-called Islamic State

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