Iraqi defense minister visits France for security talks

Iraqi defense minister visits France for security talks

Shafaq News/ Iraqi Defense Minister Thabet Mohammed al-Abbasi arrived in France on Wednesday for a several-day visit to discuss security cooperation with French officials, a readout by the ministry said.

Al-Abbasi was received at the airport by French Armed Forces Minister Sébastien Lecornu. The two ministers then held a meeting in which they discussed the bilateral relationship between Iraq and France, as well as ways to strengthen security cooperation.

Lecornu reiterated France's commitment to supporting Iraq's security and stability and expressed his government's readiness to continue cooperating with Iraq after the end of the mission of the US-led coalition.

"The two ministers touched specific areas of cooperation, including training, arms sales, and air defense," the readout said.

Al-Abbasi's visit to France is part of a broader effort by Iraq to strengthen its security ties with foreign countries. In recent months, Iraq has also held talks with the United States, Russia, and Saudi Arabia on security cooperation.

Iraq has been struggling to maintain security since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. The country has been plagued by violence, including sectarian conflict and the rise of the Islamic State group.

The International Coalition against Daesh was formed in 2014 to combat the Islamic State group. The coalition has provided Iraq with military assistance, including airstrikes, training, and equipment.

The mission of the Global Coalition against Daesh is expected to end in 2024. Iraq is seeking to build up its own security forces so that it can maintain security after the coalition leaves.

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