Iraq crisis: Arming Kurds on EU agenda in Brussels

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‘EU foreign ministers are holding an emergency meeting in Brussels on Friday to discuss plans to arm Iraq’s Kurds against an extremist insurgency.

France and the US have already begun to supply weapons to the Kurds, whose Peshmerga fighters are trying to halt an advance by Islamic State militants.

On Thursday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki resigned and conceded power to Haider al-Abadi, Iraq’s deputy speaker.

Meanwhile, the governor of Dohuk province has warned of a “genocide”.

“We have hundreds of thousands (of refugees). We’re going to face an international humanitarian catastrophe because many of these kids and children will die,” said Farhad Atrushi.

The UN says over a million Iraqis remain displaced from their homes after IS militants took over large parts of northern Iraq.
‘People dying’

The emergency EU meeting was called for by France, whose foreign minister Laurent Fabius criticised the EU for inaction on Iraq.

“When there are people dying… you have to come back from your holidays,” he told EU foreign policy chief Baroness Catherine Ashton in a letter earlier this week.

About 20 ministers are discussing EU-wide approval to ship arms to the Kurds and the Iraqi army.’

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Niamh Harris
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