World News

France says Iraqi Kurds against independence push, urges Baghdad concessions

PARIS (Reuters) - France warned Iraq’s Kurdish region on Wednesday that a declaration of independence would likely destabilise the region, but called on the central Iraqi government to give the Kurds greater autonomy.

“What would be desirable today is that Kurdish Iraq be integrated in the reconstruction of Iraq, reconciliation of Iraq by having the greatest amount of autonomy possible,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian told BFM TV.

“It does not seem timely today to have independence ... but (if) a declaration of independence happened it would provoke new major crises in the Middle East at a time when Islamic State is being defeated in Iraq.”

Reporting by Ingrid Melander; writing by John Irish