France can bring Erbil and Baghdad closer together better than Turkey: professor

<p style="text-align:left">France has a better position than Turkey to play the role of a foreign mediator between Erbil and Baghdad, a university professor said. Referring to the French president's recent meeting with Kurdistan region and Iraqi central government officials in Baghdad, Ramzi Mardini said France is a better mediator between the two sides.

French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Baghdad last Wednesday to meet with senior Iraqi officials and political figures. During the meeting, he also met with officials of the Kurdistan Region, including President Nechirvan Barzani.
Barzani left for Ankara two days later and met with senior Turkish government officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut &Ccedil;avuşoglu. Some Iraqi analysts believe that Nechirvan Barzani's visit to Turkey is due to Macron's visit to Iraq and is related to recent tensions between Ankara and Paris and the efforts of the the two sides to neutralize each other's influence.
Ramzi Mardini, a researcher at the Pearson Institute at the University of Chicago in the United States, does not rule out a link between Barzani's visit to Turkey and Macron's recent visit to Iraq. He told Al-Monitor in the United States that France was in a better position to intervene and play a role in Iraq's internal affairs, including the relationship between Erbil and Iraq, given its deeper ties with Iraq.
Al-Monitor reminds that the Iraqi government recently canceled the visit of the Turkish Minister of Defense to Baghdad in protest of the Turkish military attacks in the Kurdistan Region. Professor Mardini recalls that it was France that improved relations between Erbil and Baghdad after the Kurdish independence referendum.
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