French Defense Minister arrived, Friday, in Baghdad on a surprise visit to tackle bilateral ties and the enhancement of Iraqi military capabilities, an official presidential statement said.
Minister Florence Parly was received by Iraq's President Barham Salih in Al-Salam Palace.
"Iraq wants to establish advanced and expanded relations with France in various fields. We firmly believe that the two countries can play an important and influential role in many regional and international issues," the statement quoted Salih as saying.
Salih, according to the statement, stressed the importance of France's contribution to reinforcing the capabilities of the Iraqi military. He also hailed France's vital role in the international coalition against terrorism and its support for Iraq in defeating the terrorist organization and liberating all its cities.
Meanwhile, the French minister renewed her country's support for the stability of Iraq and its readiness to provide support for the Iraqi security forces.
The visit is the second paid by a senior French official to Iraq in less than a month. In January, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Iraq and said his country had earmarked a one-billion-euro loan to help Iraq with reconstruction and achieving stabilization.
Last week, a source close to Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi said his French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to visit Iraq this month.