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Estonia to send humanitarian aid to war torn Iraq

  • 2014-08-19
  • From wire reports, TALLINN

Estonia will send humanitarian aid to Iraq (photo: twitter)

Estonia will send 70,000 euros towards alleviating the humanitarian situation in Iraq, the foreign ministry has announced.

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet confirmed the aid would be channeled through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

“Nearly two million internal refugees are currently facing a critical situation in Iraq and there is a real threat to the lives of ethnic and religious minorities,” Paet added.

According to the UN, the situation is deteriorating very rapidly. The number of internal refugees increased by 200,000 in five days.

According to the Estonian Foreign Minister, the Islamic State (IS) group is endangering the security and stability of the entire region.

“The execution of imprisoned soldiers and brutal violence against civilians is particularly condemnable,” Paet said.

Paet added: “The Iraqi army including members of the Kurdistan security forces are trying to stop the extremists from advancing. The Kurdistan Regional Government has requested support for its armed forces, to which several EU Member States and the United States have responded to with weapons shipments,” Paet said. “Estonia is also considering such support, while observing carefully that the support does not reach the hands of unwanted forces."

Paet stated that it is important to contribute to dialog held amongst all Iraqi moderate political forces. “We support Iraq's unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity, which are necessary for the stability and economic development of both the country itself and the entire region,” Paet noted, adding that close cooperation between the security forces of Iraq's central government and Kurdistan’s regional authorities is essential.

(Edited by Rayyan Sabet-Parry)