FRENCH President Emmanuel Macron has offered to mediate between Baghdad and Erbil after Iraqi Kurds voted for independence.

The Iraqi government has refused to discuss the outcome of the non-binding ballot in the autonomous north of the country, which it called illegal, with Kurdish politicians.

More than 90 per cent of voters backed independence.

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However, after a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Paris yesterday, Emmanuel Macron has said his country is “ready to contribute actively to mediation”.

Macron, who also supports Madrid in the row over the future of Catalonia, says France supports the territorial territorial integrity of Iraq.

Saying dialogue is “the only path”, he emphasised the need for “national reconciliation and inclusive governance” that includes Kurds, “with whom France maintains close ties”.

There have been fears that the outcome of the vote could inflame tensions in a region which has suffered years of instability.

al-Abadi said: “We do not want an armed confrontation, we don’t want clashes, but the federal authority must prevail and nobody can infringe on the federal authority.