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French FM heads to Iraq to discuss judicial cooperation
Paris, Oct 17 - French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will go to Iraq evening to discuss the situation in the region amid the Turkish offensive, and outline a judicial framework allowing foreign Islamic State (IS) militants to be prosecuted in countries where they were detained, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced.
Speaking to Senators during a weekly question and answer session, Philippe said France would send its top diplomat to Baghdad "tonight to discuss with the Iraqi government measures to be set up and possible support that could be put in place, particularly in the field of judicial cooperation", Xinhua news agency reported.
"A number of those who are detained in Syria by the Kurds have committed crimes in Iraq and may therefore, if necessary, be judicially tried on the spot," he said.
According to the prime minister, hundreds of French nationals had joined the group in Syria and Iraq. Many of them, in addition to hundreds of French women and children, are currently being held in Kurdish-controlled camps close to the Turkish offensive.
But Turkey military action in northeast Syria has raised risks of militants escaping or returning home, France would show "great vigilance in its metropolitan territory if some would return," Philippe noted.
"We know that a certain number of people, if they were beyond the control of our Kurdish friends, would go to fight," he added.
Therefore, France has repeatedly expressed a preference for prosecution of its citizens who fought with the IS in Iraq and Syria.
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