France to restore diplomatic relations with Iraq

29th June 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 29 (AFP) - France is prepared to resume diplomatic relations with Iraq, French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said Tuesday, the day after US overseer Paul Bremer handed over power to an interim Iraqi government.

PARIS, June 29 (AFP) - France is prepared to resume diplomatic relations with Iraq, French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said Tuesday, the day after US overseer Paul Bremer handed over power to an interim Iraqi government.

"We are disposed to rapidly restore, in cooperation with the Iraqi authorities, our diplomatic relations with the republic of Iraq," Barnier said in a statement released by the French foreign ministry.

"The occupation came to an end yesterday, and the interim government, to which responsibility and full authority have been accorded to govern the country, takes office in a sovereign Iraq," the statement said.

French diplomats said it would be up to the Iraqi authorities to take the first step in restoring bilateral relations because it was Baghdad that severed ties with Paris in 1991.

"We are in contact with the Iraqi authorities on the subject through our interest section in Iraq which is currently under Romania's flag," said foreign ministry spokeswoman Marie Masdupuy.

"France ... is prepared to work with the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and to contribute to Iraq's recovery," Barnier said.

Washington restored diplomatic ties with Iraq on Monday. Like France, its ties with Iraq have been severed since the 1991 Gulf War.

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

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