World Bulletin/News Desk
French President Francois Hollande called on Wednesday for an international conference to discuss ways of tackling ISIL insurgents who have seized control of territory in Iraq and Syria.
Hollande did not say when such a meeting could be held or who would be invited but said a global strategy was needed to combat the insurgents, according to remarks published in Le Monde newspaper.
"We can no longer keep to the traditional debate of intervention or non-intervention," Hollande told Le Monde.
"We have to come up with a global strategy to fight this group, which is structured, has significant financing, very sophisticated weapons and threatens countries like Iraq, Syria and Lebanon," he said.
France, which has close ties with Iraq's Kurdish regional government, started delivering weapons to Kurdish fighters on Friday to help stop an advance by ISIL into the Kurdish region.
"I believe the international situation is the worst we've seen since 2001," Hollande said. "We are not dealing with a terrorist group like al Qaeda, but a quasi-terrorist state, ISIL."
Speaking on French radio on Tuesday, a Kurdish general said French weapons' deliveries so far had not been sophisticated enough and called on Paris to provide anti-tank missiles.
Hollande said that France's weapons' deliveries had been carried out in agreement with the central government in Baghdad to ensure Iraq remained united.
Hollande also called on Israel and the Palestinians to resume truce talks after a Gaza ceasefire collapsed and said the demilitarisation of the enclave and a lifting of a blockade should be part of a deal.
Israeli air strikes killed 11 Palestinians in Gaza, including the wife and infant son of Hamas's military leader, Mohammed Deif, in what the group said was an attempt to assassinate him after the failure of Egyptian-brokered negotiations.
"We are at a critical point. France supports the Egyptian mediation," Hollande told Le Monde in an interview. "Gaza can no longer remain like it is. The objective must be a demilitarisation and a lifting of the blockade."
"Demilitarisation can only be done under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority. France with Europe can be useful in lifting the blockade at the Rafah crossing. Gaza must neither be an open prison or a military base," Hollande said.
Hollande said if negotiations failed then the international community would have to take the lead to find a solution.
"We must do everything to ensure negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority resume to find a solution to the conflict. We know the parameters, the only solution is a two states living side by side," he said.
Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdish regional authorities are making progress to rescue a deal over crude oil exports, after it nearly unravelled due to Kurdish threats to halt shipments in protest over lack of payment.
U.S Led Coalition launches nine air strikes on ISIL targets
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni changed some ministries before elections next year.
Iran's foreign minister has accused Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu of trying to undermine Iran's negotiations towards a nuclear deal with world powers in order to distract from the Palestinian question.
Egypt's Sisi met new Saudia Arabia's King Salman to talk on regional issues
Qari Din Mohammad, who is one of the representatives of Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Omar, says peace talks are expected to begin next week in Kabul.
Italy will begin annual naval exercises this week near the coast of Libya
Tension has been running high in Yemen since the Shiite Houthi group seized control of Sanaa in September and sought to extend its influence to other provinces.
A magnitude 5.5 earthquake struck off the coast of Guatemala early on Sunday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
A blind elderly man gets help while being led to a voting booth to mark his ballot during a parliamentary election at a polling station in the Tajik capital Dushanbe March 1, 2015.
Yemen's Hadi declares Sanaa occupied by the Shiite Houthi, saying that the government takeover is nothing less than a coup.
Aliyev had been due to testify at the trial of other inmates he said had threatened to kill him.
Egyptian court labels Hamas as terrorist organisation
White House says president would block legislation forcing him to submit text of any nuclear agreement to Congress
Egypt has been cracking down on militancy in Sinai