"Belgium to earmark 2 million euros to help Iraq"

The outgoing Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders told journalists that Belgium is prepared to give Iraq 2 million euros in emergency aid to help the refugees there. Mr Reynders was speaking ahead of a conference of Foreign Ministers of the European Union in Brussels.

EU Foreign Ministers were holding an emergency meeting this morning to discuss the situation in the Ukraine, the Gaza strip and also the north of Iraq, where jihadists belonging to IS (Islamic State) are establishing a new Islamic caliphate.

The actions of Islamic State militants are putting thousands of local people on the run. Belgium will donate 2 million in emergency aid for the thousands of refugees. Our country is also prepared to deploy aircraft to take part in a humanitarian operation, and would also be considering direct military support to stop the advance of IS militants.

The European Union said later today that individual EU governments were free to send weapons to Iraqi Kurds battling Islamic militants, provided they had the consent of the Iraqi national authorities.

EU ministers did not reach a united position to all send arms to the Iraqi Kurds but welcomed the decision by some EU governments, such as France, to do so.