Wednesday

18th Oct 2017

France and Italy call for snap EU meeting on Iraq

  • EU countries 'welcomed' Maliki's departure (Photo: Valentina Pop)

France and Italy have urged the EU foreign service to call an emergency meeting of foreign ministers to discuss the situation in Iraq.

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius made the appeal to EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton in a letter made public by AFP on Monday (11 August).

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"I would be very grateful if you could urgently mobilise the member states and the European institutions to respond … It seems to me that a special meeting of the council of foreign ministers would be desirable”, he said.

Fabius, who met with the leader of Iraq’s Kurdish enclave, Massud Barzani, in Iraq on Sunday, noted that Barzani had appealed to him for “weapons and ammunition that would allow them to confront and beat the terrorist group [the] Islamic State”.

Meanwhile, Italy’s foreign minister, Federica Mogherini, who hopes to take over Ashton’s post in November, told Italian radio on Monday that she had also written to the EU foreign affairs chief with a similar request over the weekend.

She said the special foreign ministers’ meeting should discuss the situation in Gaza and Libya as well as Iraq.

"We're not talking about military intervention but providing support, even of a military sort, to the Kurdish government [in Iraq] … Several countries are making a move, but the initiative must be European,” Mogherini said.

The EU concern comes amid the Islamic State’s (IS) assaults on Iraq’s Christian and Yazidi minorities in recent days.

The US launched air strikes against IS fighters last week, while Ashton in a statement on Sunday said: "We are appalled by the rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation with hundreds of thousands civilians, mainly from minorities, fleeing the areas of conflict as a result of persecution and violation of basic human rights”.

She added: “Some of these acts may constitute crimes against humanity and must be investigated swiftly”.

The crisis in Iraq also deepened on Monday when the country’s president asked parliament speaker Haider al-Abadi to form a new government to replace the existing PM, Nouri Maliki.

Maliki, a Shia Muslim, is blamed for exasperating the situation by trampling on the rights of Iraq’s Sunni Muslims, some of whom have sided with the IS's Sunni fighters.

His party won the most seats in Iraq’s elections in April and reports indicate that pro-Maliki militias in Baghdad are preparing to back his rule with force if need be.

But EU countries in a communique on Monday said they “welcome” the Abadi move.

“This decision is a positive step in the constitutional process towards the formation of a new government. We encourage the designated prime minister and all Iraqi political leaders to intensify their efforts to achieve the speedy formation of a new government that is inclusive, preserves national unity and is able to address the present crisis”, they said.

EU counts humanitarian cost of Iraq crisis

Up to half a million people have fled the new front line between rebels and government forces in Iraq, but EU sources say there is little extra aid in the pot.

EU in diplomatic push to save Iran deal

EU leaders mobilise to stop Trump's attack on Iran deal, as Congress prepares knife-edge vote with implications for trans-Atantic ties and Middle East stability.

Opinion

EU can still end Rohingya ethnic cleansing

If European leaders speak and act now, there's a chance ethnic cleansing could end before the last Burmese Rohingya is killed, captured, or exiled.

News in Brief

  1. Austria's Green leaders step down following election failure
  2. Icelandic journalists protest ban on reporting PM's finances
  3. UK to begin registering EU nationals by end of 2018
  4. EU countries want compensation from Israel in Palestine
  5. Spanish Court declares Catalan referendum law void
  6. EU to keep 'Dieselgate' letter secret
  7. No deal yet on Mediterranean alliance for EU agencies
  8. EU Commission condemns Maltese journalist's murder

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  2. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  5. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  6. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  7. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  8. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!
  9. ILGA-EuropeHealth4LGBTI: Reducing Health Inequalities Experienced by LGBTI People
  10. EU2017EEEHealth: A Tool for More Equal Health
  11. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism a Key Driver for Job Creation and Enhanced Competitiveness
  12. CECENon-Harmonised Homologation of Mobile Machinery Costs € 90 Million per Year

Latest News

  1. Member states eye agreement on posted workers
  2. EU rejects UK claim it's slowing Brexit talks
  3. Nepal troops arrive in Libya to guard UN refugee agency
  4. Is Banking Authority HQ the Brexit 'booby prize'?
  5. EU-Russia trade bouncing back - despite sanctions
  6. No sign of Brexit speed-up after May-Juncker dinner
  7. EU defence strategy 'outsourced' to arms industry
  8. EU privacy rules tilt to industry, NGO says