President Barzani and Foreign Minister Kouchner later talked to the press in which the both expressed their happiness to sign a statement of intent which is indented to enhance and diversify bilateral relations in the areas of trade, education, culture, technology, capacity building and training. After thanking and paying tribute to Foreign Minister Kouchner for his long-time friendship and humanitarian support to the Kurdish people in the past, President Barzani said he is very pleased for the opportunity to meet President Sarkozy and Mr Kouchner. “There are many opportunities for mutual cooperation between us and I am very happy that the new Iraqi Constitution allows for the development of such cooperation. Until security and stability return to certain parts of Iraq, the Kurdistan Region can act as an entry point to other parts of Iraq for business and economic cooperation between Iraq and France,” said President Barzani. Answering a question on oil disputes between the KRG and Baghdad, President Barzani said that Baghdad has recently agreed to recognize the oil contracts that the KRG has signed with foreign companies and this may lead to the resumption of oil exports from Kurdistan right after the formation of the new government. 13:36:21 16 Jun. 2010 President Barzani Meets Presidnet Sarkozy, Signs Protocol with French Government 
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Paris, France ( – Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani today met with French President Nicolay Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in Paris. The meeting with President Sarkozy, which took place at the Elysee Palace, focused on the political situation in Iraq and further developing political and economic relations between the Kurdistan Region and France. At the meeting, President Barzani said the KRG is keen to develop diverse relations with France. “France is happy with its friendship with Kurdistan and attaches great importance to this friendship,” said President Sarkozy. He also commended the positive role of the Kurdistan Region leadership in the political process in Iraq, adding that France is for a democratic Iraq in which Kurds live in peace and freedom. President Sarkozy said that he would like to visit the Kurdistan Region in the future and President Barzani extended an official invitation to him. Later in the day the President and an accompanying KRG delegation, met with Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner at the French Foreign Ministry to discuss relations between the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the France. President Barzani and Foreign Minister Kouchner also singed a statement of intent to develop long-term commercial, economic and cultural relations between France and the Kurdistan Region. According to this statement, the French government will also provide help with training and capacity building inside the KRG.
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