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Theresa May soldiers on; Israel political turmoil; France fuel protests

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An interview with a French or international personality from the world of economics, politics, culture or diplomacy. Every Wednesday at 4.45 pm Paris time and Saturday at 7.45 am.

Latest update : 2017-10-20

Kurdish referendum a ‘colossal mistake’, says son of late president Talabani

In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24, Bafel Talabani – the son of late Iraqi president and Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani – blasted the decision of the Kurdish leadership to go ahead with a referendum on independence, calling it a "colossal mistake". He said a US proposal to postpone the referendum by two years should have been accepted and would have avoided the current situation, in which Iraqi federal forces have taken back control of areas controlled by Kurds since 2014.

Bafel Talabani strongly denied accusations presented in some Kurdish media that he had betrayed Kurdish leaders by allowing Iraqi government troops and their Shiite militia allies to seize the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. He rejected as "baseless" claims that this was part of a deal he had brokered with Baghdad and Tehran, arguing that his forces had indeed fought and lost soldiers but decided to withdraw because of too many losses among the ranks of Peshmergas.

The son of the late president said that Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, had offered a deal to avoid skirmishes in Kirkuk but that it had been rejected by the Kurdish leadership. He added that he was concerned about fighting between different Kurdish factions and expressed the hope that they would eventually reconcile and coordinate to work toward a future independence.

Bafel Talabani called for the Kurdish people as a whole to negociate with Bagdad and to re-engage the international community.

By Marc PERELMAN

Archives

2018-11-15 The F24 Interview

Costa Rica's president on climate change, migration and Nicaragua

Costa Rica's President Carlos Alvarado, who took office in May, has granted a wide-ranging interview to FRANCE 24. Costa Rica -- a world leader in fighting climate change -- aims...

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2018-11-14 The F24 Interview

US Supreme Court Justice Breyer urges Americans to 'participate in public life'

More than a month after Brett Kavanaugh's controversial confirmation to the US Supreme Court, one of its other nine members, Justice Stephen Breyer, sat down with FRANCE 24. A...

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2018-11-14 The F24 Interview

Venezuelan 'tyrant' must be isolated, Colombia's Duque tells FRANCE 24

Colombian President Ivan Duque, who took office in August, has granted an exclusive interview to FRANCE 24 and RFI. He focused in particular on the situation in neighbouring...

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2018-11-13 The F24 Interview

'Iran has shown patience and continues to be part of nuclear deal'

Kamal Kharrazi is the head of Iran's Strategic Council on Foreign Relations. He is also a foreign policy advisor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. In an interview with...

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2018-11-12 The F24 Interview

IMF, World Bank chiefs call for 'new multilateralism'

FRANCE 24's Marc Perelman speaks to IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim about the need for a new, more inclusive multilateralism that...

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