Middle East Minister Hugh Robertson met Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari in London on Thursday. Mr Robertson strongly condemned the actions of the terrorist group, ISIL, and made clear that the Iraqi government has the United Kingdom’s full support in its efforts to bring security to Iraq. Mr Robertson urged Iraqi leaders to work together to unite the country, and expressed his concern over the immediate humanitarian situation.
Minister Robertson said after the meeting: “Foreign Minister Zebari and I discussed the attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) in Iraq, and agreed that ISIL’s threat in Iraq and Syria should alarm the whole international community. “The Iraqi government has our full support in its struggle against terrorism. My thoughts are with the people of Iraq and the families of the victims of these attacks, and with the families of the Turkish nationals being held hostage in Mosul, including staff from the Turkish Consulate-General.
“It is vital now that all Iraqi authorities, both in the Federal Government and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), coordinate and work together to tackle the threat from ISIL. All parties must ensure the safety of all civilians inIraq.
“I also expressed my concern at the humanitarian situation. As the International Development Secretary has said, hundreds of thousands of people, including vulnerable women and children, are being forced to flee their homes. We have deployed a team of humanitarian experts to assess the situation on the ground and coordinate with our partners. We are monitoring the situation very closely and stand ready to provide whatever humanitarian support is needed.”