PARIS, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday offered mediation to help ending the political crisis between Baghdad and Erbil, urging both parts to start talks soon.
"France has always been extremely sensitive and concerned about Kurds' situation, but we want the stability of Iraq, the territorial integrity of Iraq and a strong state in Iraq," Macron said.
"It is vital in the coming weeks and months that a dialogue begins that respects the unity, integrity and sovereignty of Iraq within the framework of the constitution and recognizing Kurdish rights," he added.
Macron said: "France is ready -- if Iraqi authorities wish -- to actively contribute to mediation launched by the UN."
At a joint press meeting with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, the French president called on officials in Baghdad to press through "national reconciliation to establish inclusive governance that meets the aspirations of all the components of Iraqi society, including the Kurds of Iraq."
Abadi said he would "respect the aspirations of all citizens, including the Kurds," and called on Erbil "to work together."
"We do not want an armed confrontation, we don't want clashes. However, the federal authority must prevail and nobody can infringe on the federal authority," he stressed.
On Sept. 25, Iraqi Kurds voted for independence in a referendum that Baghdad described as illegal, warning that such a move would fuel tension in the country where military forces are still fighting Islamist insurgents near the border with Syria.