Baghdad (NINA)- The surprise visit by the French Foreign Minister Bernards Cochner, the debate over the intended long-term agreement between Iraq an the United States as well as announcing a new political entity by former Premier Ibrahim al-Jaafari were the most prominent topics in the coverage of Sunday's daily press.
French Minister's visit
Addustour said Vice-President Adil Abdul Mehdi met last Saturday with the visiting French Foreign minister at Tallil (Imam Ali airbase) near Nasiriya during the French official's first visit to southern Iraq's city. The paper quoted Cochner as saying that the visit intends to convey "a message of love and peace" to Iraqi people, asserting France's preparedness to establish tourism facilities in Nasiriya and contribute to implementing construction projects, in coordination with Iraq's central government.
Addustour cited a statement by Falah Mustafa, in charge of Kurdistan region's foreign relations, that Mr. Cochner will inaugurate Sunday the French consulate in Erbil, the region's capital.
Over the ongoing negotiations to finalize a draft for the long-term cooperation agreement with the United States, al-Sabah said the parliament intends to host Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and the governmental negotiation team to get acquainted with the negotiations' recent developments. Meanwhile, the paper added, parliament sources have set three options to proceed ahead, quoting the United Iraqi Alliance's MP Hameed M'alla as defining the options as; trying to reach an accord between Baghdad and Washington over the agreement, extending the foreign military presence in Iraq another year in case no agreement would be reached on the current draft, or resort to the third option, which is not extending the foreign presence, and consequently the Iraqi security forces would assume responsibility in all provinces.
Jaafari's new entity
Former Premier Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a Da'wa party leader, announced last Saturday forming a new political entity, called "the National Reform Trend" under his leadership to enter the next provincial councils' elections. Jaafari defined during a press conference the new movement's objectives as avoiding sectarianism and confessionalism as well as combating armed militias. /End/