Secretary-General Rasmussen says doesn't see a role for NATO in Iraq
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on June 12 he didn't see a role for the organisation in Iraq after Islamist militants seized swathes of territory in the country and took 80 Turkish citizens hostage.
Rasmussen condemned the violence and called for immediate release of the hostages.
"We urge the hostage takers to release the hostages immediately. Nothing can justify this criminal act ... I don't see a role for NATO in Iraq, but of course we follow the situation closely and urge all parties involved to stop the violence," Rasmussen said during a conference in Madrid. "Nothing can justify this criminal act."
NATO ambassadors held an emergency meeting at Turkey's request on June 11 on the situation.
Turkey did not invoke Article 4 of the NATO charter, which allows any ally to call for consultations if the security of any member country is threatened.
The June 11 meeting was merely for information purposes, a Turkish diplomat told the Hürriyet Daily News.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said there was "no question" of British troops being sent back to Iraq to help battle Islamic militants who have seized control of key cities.
Hague said that while the situation was of great concern, the government was "not countenancing at this stage any British military involvement." He said he believed Iraq had sufficient forces to counter the threat.
A U.S. official told AFP that the United States "stands ready" to help Iraq, but made no mention of sending troops.