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COBR meeting on Iraq: 12 August 2014

Statement following today's (Tuesday 12 August) COBR meeting and the Prime Minister’s phone call with Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott.

Following the meeting, a Downing Street spokesperson said:

The Foreign Secretary chaired a COBR meeting this afternoon on the latest situation in Iraq.

Our focus remains the humanitarian situation, particularly those trapped on Mount Sinjar. 3 UK aid drops have now taken place, with two C-130s delivering 3,180 re-usable water containers, filled with a total of 15,900 litres of clean water, and 816 solar lanterns overnight. We will continue with these deliveries. And, as part of our efforts to alleviate humanitarian suffering in Iraq, we are sending a small number of Chinook helicopters to the region for use if we decide we need further humanitarian relief options. Meanwhile urgent planning to get those trapped on the mountainside to safety will continue in the coming days between ourselves and US, the Kurdish authorities and other partners.

We have also agreed to transport from other contributing states some critical military re-supplies for the Kurdish forces, so that they can provide effective protection from ISIL for the huge number of refugees now in Iraqi Kurdistan, and humanitarian operations.

We continue to lead negotiations in New York on a UN Security Council Resolution that would make clear the shared determination of the international community to tackle the threat posed by ISIL; disrupt the terrorists’ financing flows; and sanction those who are seeking to recruit jihadists to ISIL.

PM call with Tony Abbott

The Prime Minister spoke to Prime Minister Abbott this afternoon. On Iraq, they agreed that it was important that the UK and Australia continue to work closely together, alongside other partners, to alleviate the humanitarian situation and tackle the wider threat posed by ISIL, including that of foreign fighters. They agreed on the need for a unity Iraqi government and welcomed the recent appointment of Dr Dr Haider Al-Abadi as Prime Minister designate.

On Ukraine, both leaders agreed Russia must not use the pretext of an humanitarian aid mission to further destabilise Eastern Ukraine and they agreed on the importance of imposing sanctions on Russia for failing to use their influence over pro-Russian rebels to deescalate the situation.

The Prime Minister said he looked forward to seeing Prime Minister Abbott in Brisbane for the G20 later this year.