This is the first time for a French president. Emmanuel Macron spent nearly two hours, Friday, August 28, around midnight, in a famous Shiite shrine in Baghdad, in the company of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi, Where he received a warm welcome.
This overnight visit coincided with his first day in Iraq, after a regional conference focused on fighting terrorism. A little later he left for Iraqi Kurdistan, and from there he would go to Mosul, the Sunni city. It was destroyed by the Islamic State, where he will also meet with Christian communities.
But to confirm his desire to address all the religions in Iraq, who share power, he decided to go first to the Kadhimiya shrine, an important place of pilgrimage for Shiites, which houses the shrine where the seventh Twelver Imam is buried.
A long procession of cars driving the two leaders and their delegation arrived, on Saturday, around 11 pm, in a crowded street lined with colorful displays and illuminated signs, at the end of which stand the majestic golden domes of the sanctuary.
The two men were walking toward the memorial, arm by arm, having taken off their shoes like all visitors, and finding themselves in the courtyard in the midst of a very moving crowd, scrambling to approach the Iraqi leader, a native Shiite of the neighbourhood. .
In a crowd difficult for their two security services, they visited the mausoleum room and the library housing ancient manuscripts. Among the French delegation in particular were Jacques Lang and Mr.love Gollnisch who defends the Christians of the East.
He was greeted by the French president, the Ayatollah, who told him about the history of the library, as well as by the officials of the complex, who reminded him that the fight against the Islamic State, at the invitation of the Shiites, mobilized Iraqis of all faiths.
This visit to a Shiite shrine is, “I think, for the first time for a French president”Mr Macron emphasized – referring to the fact that France is a traditional ally of Sunni leaders.
“It is a sign of recognition. It is a way of learning and understanding. I humbly believe that if we are to be able to act usefully in this region, we better understand it, it is a world of complexity”, he told reporters while visiting the site.
“We have just held an important conference and France is eager to recognize all the components of this people and tomorrow I will be side by side with the Dominicans, the Sunnis and the Yazidis, and it was important that I also be on the side of the Shiite community”, he completed.
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