To tackle the threat from Islamic State militants, French President Francois Hollande called on Monday for united international action on Iraq bringing together members of a U.S.-led coalition. To fight the Islamist militants simultaneously in Iraq and Syria, U.S. unveiled a plan. “What is the threat?” Hollande said as he opened the one-day meeting of officials from some 30 states in Paris.” It is global so the response must be global. Iraq’s fight against the terrorists is also our fight. We must commit ourselves together – that is the purpose of this conference,” added Hollande.
Iraqi President Fuad Masum said he hoped the Paris meeting would bring a “quick response” to jihadists who have declared a caliphate or Islamic state ruled under Sharia law in the heart of the Middle East. “Islamic State’s doctrine is either you support us or kill us. It has committed massacres and genocidal crimes and ethnic purification,” he said.
Foreign ministers from the main European states, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Iraq’s neighbors and Gulf Arab states Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE, gathered to discuss aspects of tackling Islamic State. Iran is however not attending the said conference.
“We wanted a consensus among countries over Iran’s attendance, but in the end it was more important to have certain Arab states than Iran,” a French diplomat said, signaling that Saudi Arabia had not been keen on Tehran coming. “We told the Iraqis we were available and asked them for authorization (to fly over Iraq),” Fabius told France Inter radio, confirming that the first flights from a French base in Abu Dhabi would begin on Monday. “The cost of inaction would be to say to these butchers ‘go ahead, you have a free pass’. We won’t accept that,” he said. “Two Rafale fighter jets and a refueling aircraft had taken off on Monday for Iraq”, said a French official.