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Hammond not ruling out UK trainers on ground in Iraq

The Government would consider sending British forces to Iraq in a training capacity but not for combat roles, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has told ITV News.

He said he believed Iraqi forces lacked "technical support, surveillance, intelligence, air cover and in some cases weapons and ammunition" rather than manpower.


Hammond: EU resolution to target 'individual terrorists'

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said that the UK is taking a lead in preparing an EU resolution that will condemn ISIL, seek to freeze asset flows and take steps against individual terrorist and their facilitators.

He said EU member states were committed to "pushing back against the threat from ISIL - a threat to civilization, a threat to the region and a threat to us here in Europe."

Philip Hammond to chair COBR meeting on Iraq

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond will chair a meeting of the COBR emergency committee this afternoon, Downing Street has announced.

Hammond dodges air strikes question ahead of Cobra

The Foreign Secretary dodged a question on US air strikes in Iraq as he arrived at Downing Street for a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee.

As a journalist called out, "Do you support the air strikes?" Philip Hammond responded, "Morning".

The Cobra meeting, which is chaired by Mr Hammond, is under way.


Hammond: Ceasefire collapse is 'extremely depressing'

The quick breakdown of the ceasefire in Gaza is "extremely depressing," according to Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, but he said that ending suffering remained the top priority.

He said: "Diplomacy is never dead. We have always got to keep trying but it is obviously extremely depressing that this ceasefire that we've all worked so hard to get broke down so quickly."

UK wants to impose sanctions on Putin's 'cronies'

Britain wants to impose sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin's "cronies" in response to the country's response over the MH17 air disaster, Philip Hammond said.

The new Foreign Secretary said: "The cronies of Mr Putin and his clique in the Kremlin are the people who have to bear the pressure.

"If the financial interests of the group around the leadership are affected, the leadership will know about it."

He added: "We are looking at individuals who contribute to, in one way or another, the regime in the Kremlin and its interference in Ukraine and Crimea or who have benefited from the decisions and actions of that regime."

Hammond: New sanctions to be placed on Russia

The European Union will impose new sanctions on Russia over the country's role in the MH17 airplane crash, the Foreign Secretary said.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond. Credit: Pool

Philip Hammond said the sanctions were placed on Russia as "strong condemnation" for its role in the aftermath of the disaster which left 298 people dead.

He said: "We've agreed on concrete proposals to draw up lists of additional people subject to sanctions and to do so in the next couple of days.

"[We are also] looking at broader ranging sanctions, including arms embargoes, access to capital markets, financial services and hi-tech goods including for the energy sector".

He added that Britain wanted "cronies" around Russian President Vladimir Putin to bear the pressure of the fresh sanctions.

Hammond: I will not 'threaten' other EU members

New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has insisted he will not be "threatening" other EU states as the UK seeks to renegotiate its position in the bloc.

Mr Hammond is seen as a more eurosceptic voice than his predecessor, William Hague.

"I'm going to focus on making sure that we have a successful renegotiation with our European partners," he said.

"I don't think the way to enter a negotiation is to start issuing threats."

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