France - Iraq

France will not join military action in Iraq

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in Baghdad on August 10, 2014.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in Baghdad on August 10, 2014. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Sunday that France will not join the United States in carrying out military action in Iraq but reiterated its commitment to the ongoing humanitarian effort.


"The Americans have intervened in a useful way while specifying -- and they are right -- that they have no intention of sending ground troops," Fabius said at a televised joint press conference with Massud Barzani, the president of Iraq's autonomous region of Kurdistan.

Fabius travelled on Sunday to the Iraqi Kurdish city of Arbil to oversee the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians who have fled militants with the Islamic State (IS) pushing across large swaths of northern and western Iraq since June.

"As for France, our support is currently humanitarian... France is not currently planning a military-style intervention," he said.

France’s top diplomat also denounced what he called the “Caliphate of Hate”, which refers to the self-proclaimed authority of IS fighters in June over parts of Iraq and Syria.

"(For) our friends in Kurdistan and elsewhere in Iraq, this is not only a battle for themselves but a battle for freedom that concerns us all," he said.

Echoing a sentiment embraced by US President Barack Obama, Fabius also stressed the need for Baghdad lawmakers to fashion a unity government in their protracted quest to select a new prime minister as incumbent Nouri al-Maliki clings onto power.

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