German foreign minister to visit Iraq, says must go to limits of what is possible to support Kurds

BRUSSELS Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:22am EDT

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he would travel to Iraq at the weekend to see what could be done to support Kurdish security forces, adding it would be necessary to go to the limits of what is "legally and politically possible".

"Iraq is facing a catastrophe. A million people have already fled within Iraq. In the north Yezidis and Christians are being persecuted and slaughtered," he said in Brussels on Friday before a meeting of European foreign ministers.

"That is why it is a situation in which we must not simply welcome that the U.S. have given aerial support to stop the advance of the Islamic State ... Europeans should not limit themselves to praising the courageous fight of the Kurdish security forces," he said.

"We will have to see what we can do to support the security forces in Kurdistan. I have said we will have to go the limits of what is legally and politically possible."

(Writing by Alexandra Hudson)

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