Di Rupo: "Air strikes won't sort it"

Belgium's outgoing Premier on Friday seized the opportunity of his speech to the United Nations’ general assembly to focus on the legacy of the George W Bush years. Mr Di Rupo blamed the politicians who took the decision in favour of a military solution and a second Gulf War for today’s woes.

Mr Di Rupo insisted that the war against Iraq launched by the former US leader is one of the causes of today's problems in Iraq and the Levant: "I cannot escape the impression that the humanitarian crisis that we are now experiencing is the consequence of the bitter mistake of those politicians responsible for preferring a military solution."

"Several years ago Belgium refused to participate in an operation in Iraq. How can we ignore that frustrations and humiliations strengthened radicalism?"

Mr Di Rupo said it was of the essence to respond and act urgently (against IS), also in military terms. "Air strikes will not suffice" he added.

The Belgian leader also touched on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict stressing that it should figure high on the international agenda. A peace accord would form "an important factor" for stability and peace in the world. Mr Di Rupo praised Barack Obama's efforts adding he hoped that the US president would continue his efforts until the end of his term.