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Slovenia waits for EU decision on arming Iraqi Kurds

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

LJUBLJANA, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Slovenia said on Thursday that it would not send military aid to Iraqi Kurds one day ahead of an extraordinary meeting of EU foreign ministers over the armament issue.

In response to a call from Masud Barzani, leader of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, for military support to hold off an onslaught from Islamic militants, EU foreign ministers will discuss providing military assistance to Kurds in Iraq.

Fighters from the Sunni group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have in recent months swept through northern Iraq, and have vowed to attack the national capital city of Baghdad.

Voicing its concern over growing tension in northern Iraq, the Slovenian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that to arm the Kurdish people to defend the integrity of Iraq is a political must.

However, Slovenia is not planning to participate in the armament at the moment, the statement said, adding that decisions of individual members states regarding military aid to the Iraqi Kurds should be consistent with EU rules on arms sales and in cooperation with Iraqi authorities.

Bogdan Benko, state secretary of the Slovenian Foreign Ministry, will attend the meeting of EU foreign ministers.

In addition to military aid to Iraqi Kurds, the scheduled meeting will also discuss the Ukraine crisis, the situation in the Gaza Strip and Libya, as well as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/140814/slovenia-waits-eu-decision-arming-iraqi-kurds