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Published on September 4, 2014
Press conference given by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, following the European Council

Brussels, August 30, 2014


THE PRESIDENT – The other subject, still at international level, was Iraq, Syria and the coordination of the efforts to come to the aid of the people who are threatened and also to fight Islamic State. As you know, France made a proposal, took an initiative: the conference which could, which will be held on Iraq and the fight against Islamic State. The European Union, the European Council approved this step, this initiative. In the same way, it was deemed essential to continue the humanitarian assistance and let the countries who want and can, supply weapons to those states – in this case Iraq – or to groups fighting Islamic State. So the Council was unanimous on this and there was a determination to take into account a threat which extends far beyond the region concerned, with, in particular, fighters who are leaving countries – our countries – and then carrying out atrocities, acts of barbarity and may come back and commit others on our own territory. (…)

Q. – On Iraq, on the questions about delivery of military weapons, is materiel continuing to be delivered to the Kurds?

THE PRESIDENT – For Iraq and Syria – by which I mean the Iraqi state and the groups fighting what’s called IS – yes, a request was made to us about this, and as you know, France responded to it. I even think that France wasn’t just the first to respond, but perhaps still today, certainly for the weapons delivered, the only one. Incidentally, I know what the United States is doing – I’m talking about the European countries here.

But the European countries are going to follow now, and are going to provide the necessary resources. The conference on Iraq will be the right response, the right framework for coordinating these efforts, because the objective isn’t simply to supply weapons for the sake of it, or even humanitarian assistance which wouldn’t necessarily be well targeted. This is why I instigated the conference, and why we’re now on the way to holding it, as soon as the Iraqi government has been formed. (…)./.