Iraqi president arrives in Paris

12th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 12 (AFP) - Iraq's interim president, Ghazi al-Yawar, arrived in Paris Wednesday for a four-day visit during which he is to meet with French President Jacques Chirac and other top officials.

PARIS, Jan 12 (AFP) - Iraq's interim president, Ghazi al-Yawar, arrived in Paris Wednesday for a four-day visit during which he is to meet with French President Jacques Chirac and other top officials.

Yawar is to see Chirac on Thursday, Foreign Minister Michel Barnier on Friday before leaving on Saturday.

The office of Iraqi president is largely ceremonial in nature, but Yawar's trip was important because of the context of Iraqi elections due to take place January 30.

France - a strong opponent of the US-led invasion of Iraq - backs the holding of the elections, but many, including the Iraqi interim government, have acknowledged they will only be partial because of rampant insecurity and violence.

Yawar, wearing a traditional brown-and-gold robe and a white turban, was met at the airport by French Sports Minister Jean-Francois Lamour - a relatively low ranking reception reflecting his interim status.

"This trip will provide the opportunity to highlight France's determination at the highest levels to develop a dialogue with the Iraqi authorities," French foreign ministry spokeswoman Cecile Pozzo di Borgo told reporters on Tuesday.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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