EU backs plan to arm Iraqi Kurds
Posted on Aug 16 2014 | IANS
Brussels, Aug 16 : The European Union Friday welcomed the move by EU member states to provide arms support to the Iraqi Kurdish forces battling Islamist militants in the northern areas of conflict-torn country.
In an emergency meeting in Brussels, the EU foreign ministers welcomed the decision by some EU countries to send arms to Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq, Xinhua reported.
"The Council welcomes the decision by individual member states to respond positively to the call by the Kurdish regional authorities to provide urgently military service," the EU statement said.
France has already committed to sending weapons to the Kurds. Italy and the Czech Republic have also backed the idea.
The EU suggested that such responses be done according to the capabilities and national laws of the member states, and with the consent of the Iraqi national authorities.
At the same time, the EU reiterated its firm commitment to Iraq' s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Earlier Wednesday, French President Francois Holland announced the supply of arms to Kurdish forces in Iraq.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius had Tuesday urged the European Union to arm Iraqi Kurds.
Fabius noted "an obvious imbalance" between the militants that have "sophisticated weapons", and brave Kurdish fighters that lack such arms.