Press release: FCO Minister condemns further Iraq attacks

Press release

FCO Minister condemns further Iraq attacks

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Foreign & Commonwealth Office2 and Tobias Ellwood MP3

Published 26 August 2014

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Working for peace and long-term stability in the Middle East and North Africa4, Defence and armed forces5, Foreign affairs6, International aid and development7, National security8 and Iraq9

Tobias Ellwood condemns attacks across Iraq that killed over 50 people and calls for inclusive government to fight terrorism


Reacting to news that over 50 people had been killed in attacks across Iraq yesterday, including an attack on a Shia Mosque, Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood said:

The United Kingdom condemns the attacks that took place across Iraq yesterday.

My condolences go out to the families of those involved.

The attacks targeting worshippers in a Shia Mosque in Baghdad were particularly disturbing.

These attacks, clearly designed to incite violence and create sectarian division, have no place in the future of Iraq.

It is vital that all Iraqis unite together to confront the serious threat Iraq faces from terrorism.

The United Kingdom continues to fully support the Iraqi government in its efforts to combat terrorism and bring those responsible for these terrible crimes to justice.

I again urge all of Iraq s political leaders to work together to urgently form a new inclusive, national unity government.

Further information

Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood on twitter @TobiasEllwoodMP10

Follow the Foreign Office on twitter @foreignoffice11

Follow the Foreign Office on facebook and Google+1213

Media enquiries

[email protected]14

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020 7008 3100

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North Korea confirms latest missile test

North Korea confirmed Monday its second missile test in recent days, with leader Kim Jong-Un overseeing the drill ahead of a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to South Korea.

The South Korean military said Sunday’s test was of two short-range Scud missiles with a range of about 500 kilometers (300 miles).

A dispatch by the North’s official KCNA news agency was unclear about the type of missile, mentioning, “tactical rockets” and “precision-guided missiles”.

A few days earlier, a similar dispatch had hailed the test of a new “cutting-edge” guided missile as a “breakthrough” in the North’s military capability.

Pyongyang has in the past made extravagant claims about its ballistic missile capability, and experts are divided as to how far the country has gone in developing its missile systems under UN sanctions.

North Korea carries out regular missile tests, sometimes for technical reasons but often as a show of force to register its displeasure with events elsewhere.

The two latest tests come ahead of Xi’s July 3-4 trip to Seoul for talks with South Korean President Park Geun-Hye.

China is North Korea’s sole major ally and key economic benefactor, and the fact that Xi is visiting Seoul before Pyongyang has been seen by some as a deliberate snub.

For all its leverage, China has grown increasingly frustrated with North Korea’s refusal to curb its nuclear weapons programme as well its penchant for raising regional tension.

According to KCNA, Kim argued that the missile tests “had not the slightest impact” on regional peace and security, and were in fact a guarantor of regional stability.

“Durable peace can be protected only when one is so strong that nobody dares provoke one and it can be guaranteed by one’s own strength,” said Kim, who personally oversaw both the latest tests.

With Xi and Park expected to discuss Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons, the North’s state-run newspaper lashed out at efforts to curb its nuclear ambition as a “stupid fantasy.”

The ruling party’s official Rodong Sinmun reiterated Monday that the atomic weapons were means of self-defense against perceived threats from the US and the South.

“It’s about time for the enemies to wake up from the stupid fantasy called ‘denuclearization of the North,” it said in an editorial.

“‘Denuclearization of the North’ is a wild dream that can never be achieved forever,” it added.

Tensions between North and South Korea have been running high for months, with each accusing the other of provocations.

Most recently, the North’s army threatened a “devastating strike” after the South held a live-fire drill near the flashpoint maritime border in the Yellow Sea.

In March, the two sides traded hundreds of shells across the border off the west coast after the North dropped shells in the South’s waters during a live-fire drill.

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