France-Iraq timeline

21st August 2007, Comments 0 comments

Key dates in France's relations with Iraq.

- June 1972: First visit to Paris by Saddam Hussein, Iraq's up-and-coming strongman.

- Sept 1975: France agrees to provide Iraq with a nuclear reactor for research purposes.

- Sept 1980: Saddam launches a war against neighbouring Iraq, with tacit support from the major western powers including the US. France provides jet fighters and missiles, among other weapons.

- June 1981: Israeli planes bomb and destroy Iraq's uncompleted French nuclear reactor, saying it could be used to make atomic weapons.

- 1988: End of the Iran-Iraq war. French foreign minister Roland Dumas visits Baghdad.

- 1991: France takes part in international coalition to expel Iraq from Kuwait. Saddam Hussein breaks off relations.

- Jan 1995: Amid criticism from the US, France opens a diplomatic interests section in Baghdad. Iraqi deputy prime minister Tareq Aziz visits Paris.

- Aug 2002: With a new US-led attack on Iraq under preparation, French president Jacques Chirac comes out against military action, sparking anger in Washington.

- July 2004: Diplomatic relations resume between France and Iraq, now represented by a US-installed government.

- Aug 2007: Bernard Kouchner becomes the first French foreign minister to visit Iraq in almost two decades.


Subject: French news

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