Iraqi press hails Bernard Kouchner surprise visit

22nd August 2007, Comments 0 comments

BAGHDAD, Aug 22, 2007 (AFP) - Iraqi newspapers on Wednesday hailed the visit of French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, saying it was a sign of Paris being ready to play a role in helping stabilise Iraq.

BAGHDAD, Aug 22, 2007 (AFP) - Iraqi newspapers on Wednesday hailed the visit of French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, saying it was a sign of Paris being ready to play a role in helping stabilise Iraq.

Kouchner left the country late on Tuesday after a three-day visit during which he met leaders across the political spectrum and Iraqi journalists.

For the government-run Al-Sabah newspaper, "the French foreign minister stressed that his visit to Baghdad is a first step towards promoting the support of Iraq by France in particular and the European Union in general."

The Iraqi press analysed statements made by Kouchner during the visit which began on Sunday and highlighted the fact that France has called for a withdrawal of US-led forces from the country.

"Foreign troops in Iraq do not want to stay on in the country," Al-Sabah al-Jadid newspaper quoted him as saying.

Kouchner in his public statements stressed that one of France's priorities is to help Iraq regain its sovereignty and declared that Paris supported the efforts of the United Nations to stabilise the country.

AFP

Subject: French news

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