Foreign Minister Steinmeier yesterday said the international community "must prevent the outbreak of a proxy war between the regional powers on Iraqi soil".
In his interview with the German newspaper Die Welt, Steinmeier said that the situation in Iraq had become extremely dangerous and it could destabilise the entire Middle East.
He noted that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) had turned into a military group – not just a terrorist group, as it has widened the scope of its operations. Steinmeier warned that ISIS poses a threat to all the region's powers, especially because large numbers of refugees are expected to pour into neighbouring countries.
"All [Iraq's] neighbours – Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, Turkey and Iran – cannot have an interest in a huge, lawless area developing beyond Syria in their immediate neighbourhood, which becomes a stomping ground for mercenary groups, Islamists of every colour and terrorists," Steinmeier said.
In his answer to a question about whether Nato could play a role, the German foreign minister mentioned the kidnapping of the Turkey consulate's officers in northern Iraq, noting that the kidnapping of Turkish diplomats in Mosul was a clear violation but Turkey has not made requests to Nato to intervene.
He said that the responsibility of confronting ISIS falls on Iraq's security forces and called on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki to form an administration that represents all Iraqi factions. Steinmeier noted that the rapid erosion of the Iraqi central government in Baghdad cannot be overcome unless all the country's factions reach an agreement.