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In Iraq, Macron seeks bigger sphere of influence for France

In less than a month, French President Emmanuel Macron hosted both Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani and Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani as Paris works to revive its influence in the region and counter China and Iran.
French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Iraq's Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani at the Elysee Presidential Palace, Paris, France, Jan. 26, 2023.

France is increasingly flexing its diplomatic muscles in Iraq as French President Emmanuel Macron hosted the Kurdistan Regional Government's Prime Minister Masrour Barzani last Thursday, only weeks after meeting Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani.

During the meeting, Macron expressed support for Iraq and the KRG in the face of external and domestic security threats, while Barzani lauded Paris as an “ally with a common vision.” Both leaders discussed investments and economic diversification in sectors like agriculture and pledged to further strengthen bilateral cooperation.

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