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.
Arab leaders said Saudi-led operation would continue until the Iranian-allied Houthis withdraw. They also announced the formation of a unified military force to counter growing security threats from Yemen to Libya.
Collation of results continues and final results are not expected until Monday
Tens of thousands of Tunisians marched through the capital in a show of solidarity against museum attack on Sunday, hours after the government said its forces had killed nine members of a group suspected of carrying out this month's Bardo Museum attack.
According a port official, a Chinese warship approach the port of Aden to evacuate nationals.
An Israeli court has issued an order to demolish Palestinian village Susya and relocate its residents. The village was built even before the Israeli occupation of the West Bank in 1967.
At least 15 people wounded from anti-aircraft missiles shrapnel used by Houthis against warplanes of the Saudi-led coalition in Western Yemen
According to a Yemeni NGO Mwatana Organization for Human Rights (MOHR), at least 27 civilians – including 15 children – were killed in Yemen's Sanaa province.
Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has fired Ahmed Ali Saleh who is son of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Tunisian security forces have killed a senior Algerian suspected who they accuse of helping orchestrate the Bardo museum attack which targeted foreign tourists, Tunisia's Prime Minister Habib Essid said on Sunday.
According to tribal sources, 40 Houthis killed in clashes with tribesmen.
Netanyahu says expected Iranian nuclear deal even worse than Israel feared.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says, Russia will help Palestine become an independent state with its capital in East Jerusalem.
Thousands of Palestinian athletes turned out for the third Palestine Marathon on Friday
Palestinian faction Hamas said in a statement, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas responsible for Palestinian divisions.
According to local residents, Saudi-led military coalition has bombed overnight airstrikes on Yemeni capital Sanaa and northern Saada district
Mogherini nevertheless points to issues that need to be resolved over Tehran's nuclear program, says parties 'have to work very hard to find solutions that are good.'