Shafaq News / French Defense Minister, Sebastien Le Cornu, is scheduled to visit Iraq on Tuesday following his visit to Qatar, where he will meet with Iraqi Prime Minister, Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani, before heading to Erbil to meet with Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani.
According to a report by French newspaper Le Figaro, the French Defense Minister met with Qatar's Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, on Monday prior to his arrival at the Al-Dhafra Air Base, where French Rafale fighter jets are stationed.
The newspaper cited a source from the French Defense Ministry, stating that this visit will "confirm the positive dynamics of the Qatari-French defense relationship" and "facilitate the exchange of cooperation in the field of armaments," without providing further details on the potential contracts under discussion.
The source added that Le Cornu discussed "regional and international issues" with his counterparts before departing for Iraq. The second leg of the trip is expected to underscore France's commitment to counterterrorism and drug trafficking.
The source noted that the minister is expected to hold specific meetings with Al-Sudani, as well as with the Commander of Operation Inherent Resolve, the international coalition against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
He will also meet with French forces present in Iraq as part of the operation or integrated into NATO forces, discussing "internal and regional security issues and emphasizing France's commitment to preserving Iraqi national sovereignty and ensuring the security of its territory."