EU and Arab League condemn "wave of terrorist attacks" in Iraq

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EU and Arab League condemn "wave of terrorist attacks" in Iraq

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EU and Arab League foreign ministers met in Athens on Wednesday for a one day summit.

Although not originally on the agenda, the crisis in northern Iraq was the subject of urgent discussion.

The ministers issued a joint statement condemning “in the strongest terms the recent wave of terrorist attacks” and calling on the Iraqi and Kurdistan regional governments “to combine their political and military forces in order to restore security.”

Iraqi foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari ,said the fall of Mosul to insurgents was a “mortal threat” to the country.

Euronews correspondent in Athens, Stamatis Giannisis, says the Iraqis were probably expecting something more tangible from the Athens Summit than just words of consolation and support. He adds that the complex situation in Iraq is hard to analyse, let alone solve, at a meeting of just a few hours between the European Union and Arab world.

Other key issues on the agenda were the situation in Syria and Libya as well as the status of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Greek Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Evangelos Venizelos said: “The Arab world is going through a very difficult time and it is Europe’s obligation to help in the reconstruction of all the Arab countries and the fostering of a climate of security, stability and peace, and of the opportunity for prosperity for all the people.”

The foreign ministers also discussed how to handle fighters radicalised in conflicts in the Middle East returning home to European countries.

Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Salaheddine Mezouar, said: “The economic dimension is fundamental but one must not forget all the questions related to tolerance and the fight against extremism.”