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In one of his last outings, Eamon Gilmore to discuss what to do in Iraq with other EU ministers

“The surge in violence represents a serious threat to the security, not only of the Iraqi people, but of the whole region,” said Eamon Gilmore.

A Kurdish security officer covers his face after seeing several dead bodies in Kirkuk, Iraq.
A Kurdish security officer covers his face after seeing several dead bodies in Kirkuk, Iraq.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

IN WHAT WILL be one of his final outings as Minister for Foreign Affairs, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore will be in Luxembourg today to discuss the worsening crisis in Iraq with other EU Foreign Ministers.

Speaking ahead of the event, Gilmore said he was “extremely concerned” by the deteriorating situation.

“The surge in violence represents a serious threat to the security, not only of the Iraqi people, but of the whole region,” he said.

The Foreign Affairs Council – which is made up of all EU foreign ministers – will meet with the UN Special Representative on Iraq, Nikolay Mladenov, to talk about the number of people forced to flee the country.

An estimated half a million Iraqis have had to leave their homes due to the fighting so far.

Ireland has already committed €200,000 in emergency aid to buy tents and hygiene kits for these people. Gilmore said it was critical that Iraq’s political leaders “come together in a more constructive way to overcome this crisis”.

The view from the US

US President Barack Obama has warned that the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) could destabilise other countries in the volatile region.

Isis, which has already taken over several cities, is aiming to create an Islamic state that will incorporate both Iraq and Syria.

Speaking last night, Obama ruled out putting US combat troops on the ground in Iraq again, but said that their ideology poses a medium and long-term threat to the United States.

“We’re going to have to be vigilant generally,” he said in an interview. “Right now the problem with Isis is the fact that they’re destabilising the country”.

“This could spill over into some of our allies like Jordan,” he said. “They are engaged in wars in Syria where, in the vacuum that’s been created, they could amass more arms, more resources”.

Read: Obama warns that Iraqi extremists could destabilise other countries > 

Read: Iraqi troops show strength, but ISIS captures key crossing > 

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