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Iraq to get humanitarian, military aid to fight against IS militants

The world's top diplomats attending an international conference in Paris said in a communiqué on Monday they have agreed to support Iraq in its fight against the Islamic State militants.

At the conference on peace and security in Iraq, the participants from around 30 countries "expressed their commitment to the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Iraq" and "welcomed the formation of a new government under the authority of the Prime Minister, Mr. Haider al-Abadi."

The diplomats offered full support to the Iraqi government to "implement a policy of inclusiveness, and ensure that all components are fairly represented within the federal institutions and all citizens are treated equally."

All of these measures are necessary in order to successfully combat the terrorist groups, which "represent a threat to all Iraqis," the communiqué reads.

Opening the conference, French President Francois Hollande said there is "no time to lose" in the fight against the militants. He called for a global response to the threat that the IS militants pose for the whole Middle East region.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who attended the conference, expressed concerns over the plans of Western states to launch airstrikes on IS targets in Syria without consulting Damascus.

"I stress that the terrorist threat is too serious for the response to it to be based on any ideological considerations while the international law is being violated," Lavrov said, adding that Syria and Iran should join the fight against the IS militants together with other countries, participating in the conference.

Lavrov said Russia "calls for preserving Iraq's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity." "We firmly support promoting an inclusive political process aimed at reaching consensus among all the political groups and ethnic and confessional groups of that country [Iraq]," he added.

US Department of State spokesperson Jen Psaki has declined to comment on Washington's approaches to Iran, saying "we are not and will not coordinate militarily."

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the military alliance is ready to support a new international intervention in Iraq, but has yet received an invitation.

Italy's Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini said Rome is ready to help the Iraqi authorities in the fight against the IS militants, but did not confirm plans to send Italian aircraft to the country.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende said the government plans to increase the funding of humanitarian projects in Iraq and Syria and contribute militarily in the region.

[Source: Itar Tass, Paris, 15Sep14]

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