French President Francois Hollande plans to visit Iraq on Friday to prepare for a Paris conference that will focus on the "Islamic State." Battling "IS" is one of the problems confronting Iraq's new government.
France is set to host an international conference on Iraq to be held on September 15, and President Francois Hollande will visit the war-torn country this coming Friday to prepare for the meeting, his office announced on Tuesday.
"With the agreement of the Iraqi authorities, the president has confirmed that an international conference on the peace and security of Iraq will take place in Paris on September 15," the statement read.
"It will bring together the international and regional partners who share this goal and who are helping to bring it about."
While in Iraq, Hollande is expected to pledge his support for efforts to combat the so-called "Islamic State" ("IS"), a terrorist group that has conquered large swathes of territory in northern Iraq and Syria and brutalized religious minorities and others who are not adherents of its radical version of Islam.
Hollande stated last week at a NATO summit in Wales that France would be willing, with UN approval, to join a coalition of nations in the fight against the "Islamic State."
"France is ready to take action, provided there is the political framework and respect for international law," Hollande said.
Ready to arm Kurds
France has already agreed to deliver weapons to Kurdish forces battling "IS" in northern Iraq.
Hollande and Iraqi President Fuad Masum will inaugurate the conference on September 15, which will be attended by leaders of regional and international powers.
bw/ipj (AFP, Reuters)