French President Emmanuel Macron address reporters in New York on September 19, 2017 on the sideline of the UN's General Assembly. Photo: Rudaw video
NEW YORK, United States – French President Emmanuel Macron said they would never prevent any “democratic process” when asked about the Kurdistan independence referendum to be held on September 25, but stressed the need to keep Iraq stable.
Rudaw’s Majeed Gly asked Macron about a joint initiative by France, Turkey, and the UN that aims to provide an alternative in place of the referendum, and why France wants to prevent a democratic process despite their historic relation with the Kurds.
“France will never be part of an initiative that blocks a democratic process. France – as you reminded us – has a historical relationship with the Kurds, and in particular with the Kurds of Iraq. This relationship is a long-standing one...” Macron said.
He added that he has great respect for the Kurdish people, for defending their values and history.
But, France wants Kurdistan to consider supporting Iraq and not separation, he said.
“Should that referendum be held, I wish that it would be rather a referendum about a good representation of the Iraqi Kurds in the government, within the framework of the Iraqi constitution,” said Macron.
He explained that Iraq needs territorial and political stability and for the prime minister “not to be weakened.”
“Why? Because what we need today in Iraq is territorial and political stability,” said Macron, adding his hopes that the Iraqi government can achieve “a political balance which respects all minorities, in particular the Kurds.”