BERLIN, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Germany has given a clear "No" to German arms delivery to Kurdish forces in Iraq, German public television ARD reported on Monday.
German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Monday that according to the principles of the German government, Germany does not provide weapons to conflict areas, ARD reported on its website.
A spokesman of the German Foreign Ministry told media that Germany is currently focusing on delivering humanitarian aid to Iraq. The German government has pledged 4.4 million euros (5.9 million U.S dollars) in emergency humanitarian aid to help refugees trapped by extremists of the Islamic State (IS) in the north of Iraq.
Media reports said Masoud Barzani, regional Kurdish leader in Iraq, had requested weapons for Kurdish troops to repel the advancing IS militants. Member states of the European Union (EU) are reportedly holding different opinions on this issue.
Demands for arms delivery to Iraq also came from Germany. August Hanning, former President of the German foreign intelligence service BND, told Bild newspaper on Sunday that the German government should immediately provide Kurdish forces with modern weapons to help them in self-defense against militants.
Meanwhile, calls are growing in Germany for the country to step up its roll amid the crisis in Iraq.
In an open letter published in Welt newspaper on Monday, a group of politicians, human rights activists, artists and religious leaders urged the German government to immediately send humanitarian aid to Iraq's persecuted religious minorities.
Norbert Roettgen, chairman of the foreign committee of German parliament, demanded that Germany grant temporary asylum to those fleeing Iraq.
The government must also change its passive attitude toward the crisis in Iraq, and together with the EU, "actively ensure that the IS is deprived of its political support within Iraq and in the region," Roettgen told the paper. (1 euro = 1.34 U.S dollars)