Paris, Aug 12 IANS | 3 months ago

France has urged its European partners to take swift action in support of Iraqi government and civilians who are under grave threat due to advancing Islamist militants in the conflict-torn country.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius Monday stressed that Europe "cannot remain inactive" and should respond to Kurdish regional president Massoud Barzani's call to arm the Kurds to enable them to fight Islamic State (IS) militants, Xinhua reported.

Fabius denounced the "dramatic situation" in northern Iraq where IS militants forced tens of thousands of people to flee the areas under their control.

In a letter to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, the French minister said: "It is essential that the European Union (EU) is mobilising to respond to this call for help. So I would be very grateful to urgently mobilise member states (of the EU) and European institutions to respond to it."

On Sunday, Fabius visited Iraq to deliver humanitarian aid to besieged civilians in Iraq's northern region and met Barzani.

During the visit, Barzani stressed on the urgent need for weapons and ammunition that would allow them to confront and defeat the IS militants.

(Posted on 12-08-2014)

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