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France to deliver arms to Kurds in Iraq: Hollande

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

PARIS: France will deliver weapons to Kurdish forces fighting Islamist extremists in Iraq, President Francois Hollande announced Wednesday.

"In order to respond to the urgent need expressed by the Kurdistan regional authorities, the president has decided, in agreement with Baghdad, to deliver arms in the coming hours," Hollande's office said in a statement.

"France intends to play an active role by providing, along with its partners and in liaison with the new Iraqi authorities, all the assistance required," the statement added.

Over the weekend, Paris already provided 18 tons of humanitarian aid and a new shipment of 20 tons of aid was due to arrive in northern Iraq later Wednesday.

Hollande reiterated France's support for Iraq's premier designate Haider al-Abadi and urged a "unity government, representing all Iraqis to fight effectively against Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS)."

 

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