Press release

Foreign Secretary visits Iraq to discuss ISIL

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

During his visit, Philip Hammond will hold meetings with Iraq’s political leaders to discuss the threat from ISIL and the international response.

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Speaking from Baghdad the Foreign Secretary said:

ISIL is a brutal terrorist group unrepresentative of the people of Iraq, the Middle East, or of the Islamic faith. ISIL’s violence makes no distinction between the cultures, countries and religions it attacks. If it is left unchecked, we will face a terrorist and criminal cabal with a declared and proven determination to attack anyone who doesn’t agree with its twisted ideology.

The action the UK has taken to date, including airstrikes and surveillance flights, shows the UK will play its part in standing with the Iraqi people in their fight against ISIL.

We are also working with the Iraqi authorities to increase their capacity to counter ISIL. We are: supplying military equipment and training to the Kurdish Security Forces; providing political support to the new Government of Iraq; leading diplomatic action in the UN to disrupt flows of finance to ISIL; and providing £23 million in humanitarian assistance to people affected by ISIL’s barbaric brutality.

The formation of a new Iraqi government was a critical first step to addressing the serious security, political and humanitarian challenges facing Iraq.

It is now vital that all communities in Iraq work together to overcome those challenges. To do this, it will be important for Interior and Defence Ministers to be appointed quickly and for Kurdish Ministers to take up their positions in Baghdad.

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Published 13 October 2014