Several European Union parliamentarians have made it clear that they hold Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki and his policies responsible for the crisis engulfing the country. Their remarks came during a session on Wednesday evening at which the situation in Iraq was discussed.
According to Benedetto della Vedova, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Italy, which holds the EU's rotating presidency, "Elements of the organisation of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, (ISIL) have come to pose a major danger and threat to Iraq's neighbouring countries and the European Union."
Speaking on behalf of the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, the Italian official pointed out that the situation in Iraq is "very serious"; he stressed the need for the Iraqi government to act as a mediator and resolve the crisis.
Vedova commented on Kurdistan's decision to hold a referendum and announce independence from Iraq. "Any unilateral decision in Iraq would deepen the crisis and will not help to solve the situation," he suggested.
In response to allegations made by some MEPs that Turkey supports ISIL militants, Vedova insisted that the EU must "distinguish between suspicions or rumours and facts".
Portuguese MEP Ana Gomez insisted that "Turkey should move along with some partners in the region to resolve the Iraqi crisis." Her Dutch colleague, Marietje Schaake MEP, called on Turkey's efforts with regional partners to "focus on facing foreign fighters."