Iraqi, French FMs hold phone call over ties, regional tensions

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BAGHDAD–Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Hakim on Saturday held a phone call with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian over bilateral ties and regional tensions amid rising U.S.-Iran tensions.

A statement by the Foreign Ministry said al-Hakim received a phone call from Le Drian during which they discussed latest developments on regional situation, means to promote bilateral ties and potential investments by French firms in the reconstruction process of Iraq.

The two sides "exchanged views on developments of regional issues, and means of coordination and consultation in the interest of both countries," the statement said.

They also discussed ways of "pacifying the situation, and achieving security and stability in this sensitive circumstance," it added.

The phone call came amid rising tensions between the United States and its Middle East arch-rival Iran. Washington accuses Tehran of being behind several attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf, but Iran has refuted the claims.

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