Without waiting for a possible European consensus on the issue, France announced on Wednesday morning to deliver weapons “in the coming hours” to the forces fighting the jihadists of the Islamic State (EI) in Iraq. The day before, the Permanent Representatives of the 28 EU countries in Brussels had failed to agree on a common position, and in the coming days to convene a meeting of European foreign ministers are expected. Paris, which has already delivered several tons of humanitarian aid on the ground, also supports the Iraqi prime minister, Haidar Abadi, appointed to the detriment of the outgoing Nuri al Maliki.
“The catastrophic situation that people face in the region of Iraqi Kurdistan requires you to follow and the mobilization of the international community to expand” in which “France is keen to play an active role,” the statement from the Elysee. ” To respond to the urgent needs expressed by the regional authorities in Kurdistan, the head of state has decided, in agreement with Baghdad, sending weapons in the coming hours,” added the French presidency.
France also ” reiterates its support for the designated prime minister, Haidar Abadi ” and recalls the need to kick-start “a government union, representing all Iraqi communities to effectively combat the Islamic state.”
During the weekend, Hollande sent to the area to the Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, to oversee the first deliveries of French humanitarian aid and check the needs on the ground. In his two-day trip, Fabius stopped in Baghdad and Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. There he met with President Massoud Barzani, who ” stressed the urgent need for weapons and ammunition to enable him to fight against” EI, according emphasizes the minister himself in an open letter to EU foreign policy representative, Catherine Ashton, which called for the EU to respond positively to this request.
In the humanitarian field, France has already delivered 18 tons of aid Sunday to Erbil. A second flight with 20 tons of medicines and medical and water distribution material for about 50,000 civilians was on Wednesday on his way to the Kurdish capital. These other operations in the coming days will be added, according to a Foreign.
France has taken an active role in managing the humanitarian crisis triggered by the jihadist offensive and the flight of thousands of civilians and pressing for a common European position towards the conflict, particularly in the delivery of arms. However, with his army still mobilized in Mali, discard any military intervention, as performed by the United States strategic bombing.