EU foreign ministers have agreed individual member states can send arms to Kurds fighting Islamic State militants in the north of Iraq.
France and the US have already moved to supply military aid while Germany has warned it cannot stand by and watch people being, “slaughtered”.
The move came at an emergency meeting in Brussels in which the ministers condemned “atrocities and abuses” against religious minorities in Iraq.
The crisis in Ukraine was also on the agenda with the discussions prompting a request to Moscow.
“To call on Russia to engage with the international community, to bring this crisis to an end, to ensure the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the future for the Ukrainian people in their own country and to work with the international community to achieve that,” said Catherine Ashton, EU foreign policy chief.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said he will meet Russia’s Sergei Lavrov along with their counterparts from Germany and France in Berlin on Sunday.
Friday’s emergency meeting in Brussels was called by France whose foreign minister, Laurent Fabius had criticised the EU for inaction on Iraq.