On Monday, 2 January 2017, President Masoud Barzani received a high level French delegation headed by Francois Hollande, the President of France. The French delegation included the Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs, Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian and a number of other officials. Accompanying the President were a number of KRG officials including Mr. Kosrat Rasul, the Vice President of the Kurdistan Region, Prime Minster Nechirvan Barzani and the Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council, Masrour Barzani.
As a sign of gratitude to the support of France to the Kurdistan Region, President Hollande was welcomed at the airport by a number of family members of the martyrs of the Peshmerga forces who had paid the ultimate price during this ongoing war against the terrorists of the Islamic State, most notably the mother of the three brothers who were martyred on the same day on the day of the Zummar liberation.
President Barzani and President Hollande took a trip to the Khazir front, specifically the Zartik Mountain where they met with a number of Peshmerga generals who briefed President Hollande on the progress of the Peshmerga and Iraqi forces in the Mosul Operation. President Hollande hailed the courage and sacrifices of the Peshmerga forces and added that the safety of France and the entirety of the free world is due to that courage and those sacrifices.
President Hollande stated that France which has had a long history of supporting the people of Kurdistan in the past and will certainly continue to support it in the future and that that relationship has now turned into a partnership. President Barzani expressed his appreciation on the people and government of the Kurdistan Region to the people and government of France for the support that has been provided to the Kurdistan Region. The President also made reference to how the people of the Kurdistan Region will never forget the visit by President Hollande in September 2014, during some very difficult times for the Kurdistan Region.