Middle East

Czechs looking at ways to supply arms to Iraqi Kurds

An Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighter takes position on the front line in Bashiqa, a town 13 kilometers north-east of Mosul August 12, 2014. (AFP Photo/Ahmad al-Rubaye)

PRAGUE: The Czech government is looking for ways to supply weapons to Iraqi Kurds battling Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) militants, including through private companies, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek was quoted as saying Wednesday.

The European Union, while failing to agree a joint position Tuesday, said member states could send arms in coordination with Baghdad.

"We have an idea of what the Kurds want and we have something to offer," Zaoralek said in an interview with daily newspaper Hospodarske Noviny.

"We are looking for a way to put together some things even without a government decision. It does not have to be about supplying munitions from state warehouses."

Zaoralek said using private firms would be a solution but declined to name which ones.

No one at the Foreign Ministry was immediately available to comment.

Iraqi Kurdish President Masoud Barzani asked the international community Sunday to provide the Kurds with weapons to help them fight the militants, whose dramatic push through the north has startled world powers.

EU ambassadors, holding an extraordinary meeting Tuesday to discuss the crises in Iraq, Ukraine and Gaza, gave approval for individual governments to send arms under set conditions.





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