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French president to call for summit on Islamic State

France's president has said he will head efforts to arrange an international summit on security in Iraq and the Islamic State, describing the threat posed by the IS as one of the "the most serious since al-Qaeda in 2001." In an interview with French daily Le Monde published Wednesday, Francois Hollande said the world could no longer focus on whether or not it should intervene in Iraq - France said last week that it is ready to send weapons "in the coming hours" to Iraqi Kurds seeking to repel the advance of the Islamist State across the country.
"We must come up with a global strategy," the newspaper reported him as saying, adding that he intended to invite the United Nations Security Council and Middle Eastern countries to the summit.
Speaking to the newspaper, Hollande confirmed that France supported what he referred to as "the democratic Syrian rebellion" across Iraq's border in Syria, which has seen more than 133,000 people killed in a civil war since March 2011.
"The Syrian rebels deserve our support," he said, confirming that Paris had delivered arms to the "democratic opposition" - "materials that comply with [the] European commitments" of France, he added.
He said he held the international community responsible for what is happening in Syria and Iraq right now.
"Two years ago, if there had been action to install a transitional government, we would not have an Islamic State [now]," he said.
"If one year ago, the great powers had reacted to the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime we would not face this terrible choice between a dictator and a terrorist group."
The Islamic State - previously known as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.- has declared a "caliphate" that straddles parts of Syria and Iraq, and has driven an estimated 1.2 million Iraqis from their homes. The insurgents have particularly targeted Shiite Muslims, Turkmen, Ezidis, and Christian communities.

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