French officials discuss ties with Iraq

Feb. 6, 2009 at 8:28 PM

BAGHDAD, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Iraqi and French officials discussed bilateral relations at a meeting in Baghdad in the wake of the Saturday provincial elections.

Iraqi Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Abdul Karim Hashim Mustafa met with Francois Jero, the French envoy to Iraq, ahead of an anticipated visit by defense ministers in the French Senate, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The Iraqi government in November announced plans to purchase hundreds of military aircraft from France and the United States, with deliveries expected in 2011.

The announcements came as French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was then president of the European Union, said European nations could do more to aid in the reconstruction effort in Iraq.

The French ambassador, meanwhile, expressed his admiration for Iraq's successful completion of provincial elections Saturday that went by with few reports of violence or fraud.

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