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Kurdistan Region in the face of the world francization


8/29/2021 11:14:00 AM

 On the sidelines of the dramatic global changes and regional events, and in the midst of many complications, Iraq held a conference in August,28, 2021. Therefore, the Mediterranean Institute for Regional Studies, to analyze the regional situation, considered it necessary to address President Macron’s visit, as well as the position of the Kurdistan Region and the role of its political figures in front of the perspectives and visions of national and foreign specialists and for different levels. Here,  the head of Mediterranean Institute for Regional Studies "Bahrooz Jaafar", he is holding a PhD from the Cyprus International University. Presents his perspectives on the subject:

Executive summary

Finally, after many attempts by the Presidency of the Republic, the Iraqi government and its institutions. As well as after a series of foreign visits, the so-called "Baghdad Summit" was held, which did not rise to the level of a "summit". Where he represented Egypt, Jordan and France, with their presidents who visited Iraq before (less than a year), also there was conversations between the presidents of these countries with Iraqi leaders by telephone.

Currently, Iraq faced major serious governance challenges from both of internal the external politics, which It is not able to conduct diplomatic and political maneuvers and act as a mediator between the regional powers. Likewise, the countries participating in the conference couldn't change the security and economic reality of Iraq.


 Perhaps, the conference will bring an opportunity for the Kurdistan Region in parallel of the global and regional events


First\ the world francization: Why the world is becoming more French?

The British New Statesman magazine, which since (1913) has been concerned with valuing liberal politics and developing British culture, after the Kabul events and only three days before Macron’s visit to Iraq on August 26, 2021, published an article full of irrefutable evidence entitled “Why the world is becoming more French?”.  Actually. The Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union given a chance to lead by France during Macron’s era to earn a big position in Europe. As USA's withdrawal from the Greater Middle East, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, get another justification to France to rethink for its historical legacy in the region, that also presents Europe for the more responsibility of being able to protect themselves without America. According to the New Statesman Magazine, the world is changing slowly, and the friends are going toward France placidly. 


Second/ France friendship with Kurds based on common interest and shared value

Both of France and Macron’s factors are living in an era which it ready for a major turning point. The Kurdistan region has an important position in France’s strategy, especially in terms of security, economic and cultural aspects. Is the Kurdistan Region ready for these transformations and decision-making, and then decide side by side according to these changes?

In Iraq, the political leaders are not in a stable atmosphere, that's why the Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran have not been participated seriously in the Iraqi conference and their presidents were not there!. They are not going to conferences that made by someone who have remain only two or three months on the political stage.


In the Kurdistan region, and in the new modern era, the engineer of tie between the KRG and France is “Nechirvan Barzani”, he is currently and officially the president of Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Nechirvan Barzani, he is a Kurdish statesman that had balanced diplomatic moves, after 16th October 2017, they could remove the regional and international blockade on the Kurdistan Region. At the present time, Nechirvan Barzani is the influential guarantor of maintaining the balance of power between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad in one side, between neighboring countries and Kurdistan region in the other side.  

There are three main KRG's strategic significant for France and President Macron, including: 

First, The Kurdistan region and West of Kurdistan (Rojava) are considered two major security fences for the whole of Europe. To prevent terrorism and millions of refugees and displaced peoples who they are all wanted to across to European countries. So, France must be support and predicting the role of the region. According to the Sykes-Picot agreement, France was to control southeastern Turkey, northern Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. As we can see in the historical documents and in the subsequent discussions, France staked its claim to Syria (and its mandate) while the British sought to carve out the Arab areas of zones A and B arguing that France had implicitly accepted such an arrangement even though it was the British that had entered into the arrangement with the Arabs. 

 As well as, Since the so-called Arab Spring, France has emerged as a legitimate heir to the area, and considers the Kurdistan region as the only safe land crossing to export their logistical aid to West of Kurdistan.

Second, in terms of timing, the withdrawal of NATO and American forces from Afghanistan has a lot of  thick smoke, which means that the fire is big, that’s why the EU and France don’t want want to repeat the same experience of Afghanistan in Iraq again..


Third, in terms of Economic dimension, oil, gas, and electricity are in priorities factors for France, France has 100 years of experience in oil extraction and production in Iraq from (1920). as Iran and France had an old and classic relation, thus, France is looking for an alternative oil region for Iran

Generally, Iraq’s conference provided benefits for Kurdistan region, because the Kurdistan region was able to persuade Baghdad to discuss issues of militias bombing, Turkey's interventions, the repeated attacks of armed militias on Erbil, and Baghdad's preoccupation with those issues at the Baghdad conference. Moreover, after the control of ISIS militants and its blew up of the Kirkuk- Ceyhan pipeline .So, from March, 5, 2014 until now, the Kirkuk oil has been transported through Kurdistan pipelines, without Baghdad paying any customs duties! Therefore, in terms of security and economics, Baghdad and the international community should protect the Kurdistan Region from the dangers of uncalculated threats, because (40%) of Turkey's oil needs are providing by Iraq, and Iraq providing (8%) of France's oil needs.

Therefore, the president of France 'Emanuel Macron' was visited and slept in the Kurdistan region, this is his first visit to Kurdistan. It is an historical and multidimensional event, While the former France president Fransua Holand’s in Sep,12, 2014 visited Kurdistan region.


 Third/ The Kurdistan Region and France's strategy in the Mediterranean basin

 France is an incubator of the Mediterranean Partnership Strategy. In the geopolitical perspective, the Mediterranean sea is the breakpoint of the three continents; Asia, Africa and Europe. there are direct impact of France in shaping and re-shaping the region. Particularly, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Syria which located the Med sea, France has ruled them for a period of time. France itself overlooks the Med region, and has prevented Turkey militarily from completing its plans in Libya in the early of 2021. It also prevented Turkey for being a threat to the islands of Greece and Cyprus.

 Eastern Mediterranean (East-Med) is a 1,900km natural gas pipeline project to connect the gas reserves of the eastern Mediterranean to Greece. The pipeline will have an initial capacity to transport ten billion cubic meters per year (bcm/y) of gas to Greece and Italy and other south-east European countries. The capacity is expected to be increased to a maximum of 20bcm/y in the second phase. furthermore, the distance of the Israeli and Cyprus fields from North of Syria's fields is only (150km). As for the Kurdistan Region, as an important geographical area which own a huge of reserve (oil and natural gas), so that, both of Kurds in Iraq and Syria should presence themselves of  to be a part of this strategic energy alliance in the eastern Mediterranean. This was the main reason why Erdogan has not contribute in the August 28, 2021 conference in Baghdad. 

In any case, global transformations began step by step. France seems to look more strongly from Europe and administrating their interests in Mediterranean, as well as Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. Despite the internal and regional challenges for Kurdistan Region, they has one guaranteed seat in this train.


The Kurdistan Region is a safe region in the Middle East, and France has for many years been searching for a reasonable place in this geographical area. Those who participated in the conference came for the purposes of their countries and not to facilitate the affairs of Iraq. Iraq supplies both Egypt and Jordan with oil at very low prices, and they had a signed an agreement in Iraq called "The New Sham Project", which Iraq does not benefit from it.

Iraqi problems are bigger than being solved by these conferences. Perhaps Iraq’s condition would be face a trouble before the election of 2022 or after it. Withdrawal of America from Iraq, with not taking responsibility, more spread of coronavirus, increasing ISIS movements, the political conflict of the authoritative characters Increased Iranian interference is dragging Iraq into violence between government and non-government militants.