BRUSSELS - The European Union gave a green light on Friday to individual EU governments to supply arms and ammunition to Iraqi Kurds battling Islamist militants, provided they had the consent of authorities in Baghdad.

EU foreign ministers holding an emergency meeting in Brussels on the Iraq and Ukraine crises welcomed the decision by several EU governments to send weapons in response to an appeal by Iraqi Kurdish President Masoud Barzani.

The United States is already supplying weapons to Peshmerga fighters from Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region, who are struggling to stem advances by militants from the Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot.

France and the Czech Republic have said they will send weapons to the Kurds. Britain and the Netherlands have said they would consider doing so.

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