The Egyptian foreign ministry is keeping a close eye on developments in Iraq, where militants have taken over two provincial capitals and have vowed to capture Baghdad.
Assistant Foreign Minister for Arab Affairs Nasser Kamel returned from Iraq on Thursday after meeting with “Iraqi officials and representatives of political forces”. He discussed “bilateral relations… and developments in the regional arena”. Kamel is expected to present a full report of his meetings to Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy about his visit and “his assessment of the situation in Iraq”.
The foreign ministry confirmed on Thursday that it was following the situation “moment by moment” in Mosul, Iraq’s second city, where militants from the group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) launched their offensive last Monday. The ministry said the embassy in Baghdad is in communication with members of the Egyptian community and will also help them to return to Egypt if they desire.
The ministry’s spokesman said: “Egypt is keen on and interested in the preservation of the Iraqi state, its sovereignty and territorial integrity.” The ministry called on Iraqis “to resolve differences among themselves to build a strong Iraqi state” so that the younger generations can “cope with the forces of extremism and maintain the concept of the nation-state in Iraq and the Levant region.”