Updated: Tuesday, 19 August 2014 01:55 | By Agence France-Presse

Pope 'available' to go to Iraq 'if necessary'

Pope Francis said on Monday that he was "available" to go to Iraq to provide support for refugees and Christian groups in Kurdistan "if necessary".

Pope 'available' to go to Iraq 'if necessary'

Pope Francis gives a press conference aboard the plane carrying him back to Rome at the end of a five-day trip to South-Korea, on August 18, 2014 - by Vincenzo Pinto

Speaking on board the plane which brought him back from his trip to South Korea, the pope said that proposals considered by the Vatican to help people threatened by jihadists in northern Iraq included the pontiff travelling to the region.

"We said, if necessary, when we return from Korea we can go there, but right now it is not the best thing to do," he told reporters.

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