Russia Ready to Provide Humanitarian Aid for Iraqi Kurds

Authorities in Kurdistan intend to ask Russia to provide humanitarian aid in the event of US military action against Iraq. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this was announced by Latif Rashid, special envoy to the general secretary of the Kurdish Patriotic Union and member of the Iraqi national congress, at a press conference in Moscow yesterday. Mr Rashid said that he had reached a provisional agreement with the Russian Ministry for Emergencies on the provision of humanitarian aid. In particular, this agreement involves providing protection for the Iraqi population against the possible use of poisonous substances, including chemical and biological weapons, on Iraqi territory. They also discussed the possibility of air-lifting medicines and first aid material to Iraqi territory. An agreement was also reached on the issue of aid to refugees.

At the same time, Mr Rashid said that the Kurdish population had no intention of taking part in the military operation, either on the US side or the Iraqi side. 'We simply want to maintain peace and stability in the region and protect the population. We do not want any foreign government to interfere in our internal affairs,' added the envoy.