Egypt can fight "terrorism" with moderate Islamic thought: US special envoy on ISIS

Ahram Online , Thursday 9 Oct 2014

Sameh Shoukry discusses fighting against ISIS and supporting the Iraqi government with retired general John Allen

Retired U.S. General John Allen, an envoy charged with building the coalition against the Islamic State, meets with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri in Cairo, October 9, 2014. (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's foreign affairs minister Sameh Shouky met earlier Thursday with retired US general John Allen, American special envoy for US led coalition against ISIS.

The two discussed ways to confront ISIS and support the Iraqi government which is facing a growing jihadist insurgency.

In a statement issued by the foreign affairs ministry, official spokesperson Badr Abdel-Atti said that Egypt was ready to support the US to strengthen the Iraqi government and rebuild its capabilities.

The Egyptian minister of foreign affairs met with retired General Allen during his visit to Cairo. Allen is on a region-wide tour to discuss the situation in Iraq and Syria. After Egypt he will travel to Turkey.

During their meeting minister Shoukry explained Egypt's vision for counterterrorism in the region which focuses on drying up the finances of "terrorist organisations."

Abdel-Atti added that General Allen stressed the important role Egypt could play in fighting radical religious thought and spreading moderate Islamic teachings through its Al-Azhar organisation.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has recently said that Egypt will back the ongoing US-led military coalition against ISIS in Syria and Iraq but would not deploy troops to take part in the American efforts.

The meeting also discussed the foreign fighters' role in ISIS and similar jihadist organisations and "how to enable the centralised Iraqi government to do its job."

The next stop for the US special envoy for the anti IS coalition will be Ankara, Turkey later Thursday.

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