Hammond meets new premier in Iraq

Published: Monday 13th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond is in Iraq for talks with the government amid continuing efforts to halt the Islamic State (IS) advance.

He said he was holding discussions with new prime minister Haider al-Abadi on combating the extremists and improving national unity.

Mr Hammond said on Twitter: ” In Iraq today meeting Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to discuss support to government in Iraq in fight against terrorism and need for national reconciliation.”

Speaking from Baghdad, Mr Hammond said: “Isil (IS) is a brutal terrorist group unrepresentative of the people of Iraq, the Middle East, or of the Islamic faith.

“Isil’s violence makes no distinction between the cultures, countries and religions it attacks. If it is left unchecked, we will face a terrorist and criminal cabal with a declared and proven determination to attack anyone who doesn’t agree with its twisted ideology.

“The action the UK has taken to date, including airstrikes and surveillance flights, shows the UK will play its part in standing with the Iraqi people in their fight against Isil.

“We are also working with the Iraqi authorities to increase their capacity to counter Isil. We are supplying military equipment and training to the Kurdish Security Forces; providing political support to the new Government of Iraq; leading diplomatic action in the UN to disrupt flows of finance to Isil; and providing £23 million in humanitarian assistance to people affected by Isil’s barbaric brutality.

“The formation of a new Iraqi government was a critical first step to addressing the serious security, political and humanitarian challenges facing Iraq.

“It is now vital that all communities in Iraq work together to overcome those challenges. To do this, it will be important for interior and defence ministers to be appointed quickly and for Kurdish ministers to take up their positions in Baghdad.”

Published: Monday 13th October 2014 by The News Editor

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