France offers mediation between Iraq govt, Kurds

France offered on Thursday to mediate between Iraq’s government and Kurdish regional authorities. President Emmanuel Macron offer came as Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited Paris. The trip is his first abroad since its Kurdish-held northern regions last month voted for independence in a referendum declared illegal by Baghdad. Abadi said on Thursday he could understand the Kurds’ “aspirations” - provided they were expressed in accordance with the constitution - and wanted to avoid violence, AP said.