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Iraqi premier meets French officials in Paris

Iraqi premier meets French officials in Paris

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki vowed Monday not to allow groups to use Iraq as a base from which to strike neighboring countries.
At the same time, he said, Iraq would protect its airspace from incursions by countries seeking to root out rebel raiders.
Last week, officials said Iranian helicopters fired on Iranian Kurdish rebel positions in a remote Iraqi border area, and Turkey has launched numerous cross-border air strikes on Kurdish rebel bases in Iraq's mountainous north.
"We won't allow Iraq to be used as a base for any terrorist organization," al-Maliki said in a speech at the Diplomatic Academy in Paris.
"We won't allow Iraq to be used as a base to attack neighboring countries, and we won't allow any interference in our internal affairs," he said.
Al-Maliki made the remarks before going into meetings with the French president and prime minister, as well as leaders of companies including Paris-based oil giant Total and European aerospace group EADS.
Iraq and France are trying to bolstering their business dealings and mend diplomatic relations strained by the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited Baghdad in February, becoming the first French leader to pay an official visit to Iraq.
The trip helped pave the way for increased trade _ particularly in the Iraqi arms market, which has been dominated by the U.S. since 2003. Iraq, which is rebuilding its air force, has since bought a fleet of helicopters from French-based Eurocopter, a branch of Airbus parent company EADS _ a deal worth around $500 million (


Updated : 2021-02-26 18:39 GMT+08:00