US Secretary of State John Kerry Saturday said a global coalition was essential to defeat Sunni militant group Islamic State (IS).
Kerry also stressed that a concerted effort must be made to choke off financing for the militant group and prevent foreign jihadis from joining its ranks in Iraq and Syria.
“An international coalition is essential to defeating IS,” Kerry said at a joint press conference here with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukri.
Besides, Kerry hailed the support the US got from Egypt and the Arab League in its fight against terrorism.
The top US official said the coalition must support the new Iraqi government in its efforts to battle the Sunni militants and provide it with military aid because current military operations against IS will not be enough to defeat the group, Efe reported.
Kerry also discussed with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi the steps that Egypt can take as part of the fight against the IS in Iraq.
Meanwhile, Shoukri said Kerry held prolonged talks with President al-Sisi, which covered bilateral relations as well as a set of regional and international issues of common interests and the situation in Iraq, Syria, Libya and efforts to maintain the ceasefire in Gaza, state-run MENA news agency reported.
Shourki noted that Cairo and Washington have also agreed on the importance of resuming Mideast peace talks in order to establish a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Arab League Secretary General Nabil el-Arabi Saturday said his meeting with Kerry focused on means to face terrorism, ending the Arab-Israeli conflict and the situation in Libya.
Speaking after the meeting Saturday, Arabi said he explained to Kerry a decision taken by the Arab Foreign Ministers’ Council last week on the need to make all-out efforts to counter challenges and extremism in the Arab world politically, militarily, culturally, intellectually, economically and judicially.
Earlier in the day, Kerry arrived here in a bid to build up a coalition to counter and defeat the IS terrorist group, Xinhua reported. The visit is the latest leg of his Middle East tour that has taken him to Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
Before his arrival, Kerry managed to secure the support of 10 Arab nations for a global drive to clamp down on the terrorist group.
On Thursday, representatives of the US, 10 Arab countries and Turkey met in Saudi Arabia to discuss the US’ anti-terrorism strategy against IS, but the Arab nations, despite signing a statement pledging to support the effort, gave no specifics on how they would contribute to it.
However, Kerry said it was “premature” to say what tasks individual coalition partners would have to perform.
The top US diplomat ruled out the possibility of including Iran in the coalition, saying it was “not appropriate” for Tehran to join talks on combating IS militants.
The strategy, which US President Barack Obama outlined in a nationally televised address Wednesday, is based on expanded airstrikes against jihadi positions in Iraq and support for Iraqi government forces in their battle against the Sunni militants.
The president, who acknowledged in his speech that no “specific plotting against our homeland” by IS has been detected, also justified the expansion of the fight against the group in Syria on the grounds that those who threaten America “will find no safe haven”.
The secretary of state also said Saturday in Cairo that Monday’s international summit in Paris will serve to coordinate efforts to “debilitate and destroy the IS”.