Kerry's meet with AL chief focuses on 'fighting terrorism'

Ahram Online, Saturday 13 Sep 2014

In Cairo Saturday, US Secretary of State John Kerry met with the head of the Arab League to drum up support for a US-led coalition to confront the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria

US Secretary of State John Kerry, right, shakes hands with Secretary-General of the Arab League Nabil Elaraby before their meeting in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. (Photo:AP)

Arab League chief Nabil El-Arabi met with US Secretary of State John Kerry Saturday to discuss means of fighting terrorism in the Middle East.

Kerry arrived Saturday in Cairo on the latest leg of a regional tour aimed at forging a coalition against Islamic State jihadists in Iraq and Syria.

El-Arabi said in a statement to the press shortly after the meeting that Kerry was informed about the details of the Arab foreign ministers meeting that took place last Sunday.

El-Arabi said that Arab states had vowed to confront extremism in the region, politically, economically, militarily and culturally.

On Sunday, Arab League foreign ministers agreed to take all necessary measures to confront the Islamic State and cooperate with international, regional and national efforts to combat militants who have overrun swathes of Iraq and Syria, Reuters reported.

El-Arabi also said he discussed the Arab-Israeli conflict with Kerry, underlining the importance of action, and that the West realise that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is exerting all efforts possible.

Wafa Palestnian news agency reported that at least 2,139 Palestinians were killed — including 577 children, 260 women and 101 elderly — in the 51 days of Israeli aggression on Gaza starting 8 July. More than 10,870 others were injured.

El-Arabi also briefly mentioned that Libya was discussed in his meeting with Kerry.

Kerry is scheduled to meet Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi during his visit to Egypt.

Kerry kicked off his trip to the Middle East Tuesday, launching a diplomatic initiative aimed at building a coalition against the extremist Islamic State group.

The top US diplomat headed to Baghdad Wednesday from Jordan, the first stop on his tour.

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