January 17
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France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Monday urged Iraq to push for national reconciliation with its Sunnis and Kurds ahead of "inclusive" elections, Daily Mail reported.

On a visit to Baghdad following the country's December declaration of victory over the Islamic State group, he said France would play its part in the country's reconstruction and called for peaceful general elections in May.

"The electoral process (must) take place under the best conditions and be based on an inclusive logic," he said, urging respect for "the different communities of the whole of Iraq, be it the Sunnis, the Yazidis, the Christian minorities, the Kurds."

"We are in a period when Iraq needs stability, reconstruction and reconciliation," he added, saying that would pave the way to "peaceful elections and... an inclusive government".

Le Drian, who previously visited Baghdad in August last year, also met Iraq's Shiite Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Sunni President Fuad Massum and Kurdish parliament speaker Salim al-Juburi.

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