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France urges Iran, others in region, to join fight against IS

© Bertrand Guay, AFP I French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-08-20

France said Wednesday it wanted the permanent members of the UN Security Council and regional countries, including Arab states and Iran, to join the West in the fight against the organisation that calls itself the Islamic State.

“In our minds and we hope that it will be possible ... we want not only all the regional countries, including Arab states and Iran, but the five members of the Security Council, also to join this action,” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told lawmakers.

France’s president earlier on Wednesday called for an international conference to tackle the militant group that calls itself the Islamic State (IS, formally known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, or ISIS).

“The president wants an international conference. We have to see with different partners how we can face them in terms of intelligence and military dispositions. That means cutting resources, it means taking social action to separate the support this group has from the population,” Fabius said.

IS ambition a concern for Europe

Fabius warned that IS's ambitions spread far beyond the borders of Iraq and Syria.

"Today, it's Iraq. But the Caliphate is the whole of the region. And beyond that region, there's obviously Europe," he said.

The US launched airstrikes against the IS group in Iraq more than a week ago in a bid to halt its advance across the north. The US military said US forces conducted nine strikes Saturday and another 16 on Sunday.

The US and France have also agreed to arm Kurdish fighters with the US providing light weapons and ammunition. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius refused to specify the type of arms France would deliver, saying only they would be “sophisticated.” The British and German governments have also stated their willingness to supply the Kurds with weapons.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP)
 

Date created : 2014-08-20

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