French Consulate hosts Bastille Day in Erbil

Erbil, Kurdistan – Iraq ( – The French Consul General in Erbil, Frederic Tissot, yesterday hosted a reception to celebrate Bastille Day, France’s National Day.

In his speech to the dignitaries guests, which included Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani, Mr Tissot spoke about the importance of this day for the people of France. He conveyed greetings from the French Ambassador to Iraq, Denis Gauer, and spoke about his desire to see the people of the Kurdistan Region, as well as the people of Iraq as a whole, enjoy peace, happiness and prosperity.

President Barzani congratulated the French people and the government on their National Day. He particularly thanked the French government for the crucial role they played in protecting Iraq’s Kurds, which helped make this day in Erbil possible.

President Barzani said, “The history of the Kurdistan Region and its people with the French Republic goes back a long time, and we are proud of this historic relationship. We will not forget the role that France and other western allies played in assisting the people of the Kurdistan Region after the uprising of 1991, that contributed to the security and prosperity that the Kurdistan Region enjoys today.”

The Republic of France was one of the first European countries to open a consulate in the Kurdistan Region in June 2008, with the presence of the then French Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Dr Bernard Kouchner.

Mr Tissot and President Barzani commended the role played by Dr Kouchner, not just as foreign minister but also earlier when he urged the United Nations to stop the atrocities against the Kurds in 1991.

Dr Kouchner contributed significantly to UN Security Council Resolution 688, which created a legal basis for the protection of nearly two million Kurdish refugees.

Also in attendance at the reception was Kurdistan Parliament Speaker, Dr Kamal Kirkuki, Ms Hero Tabalani on behalf of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Ms Asos Najib Abdullah, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs on behalf of KRG Prime Minister Barham Salih, and other KRG ministers and senior officials.

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