Egypt to attend London talks on Islamic State

Marwan Sultan in London, Wednesday 21 Jan 2015

Eight Arab countries will take part in talks in London on how to combat Islamic State

Kerry and Hammond
File Photo: US Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (Photo: Reuters)

Arab counties, including Egypt, are to take part in a conference in London on Islamic State, a UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office source has told Ahram Online.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and US Secretary of State John Kerry will co-chair the conference on Thursday on ways to fight IS, which controls large swaths of Syria and Iraq is widely believed to be responsible for terror attacks in the Middle East and Europe.

Egypt, United Arab Emirate, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia will be represented at the talks, the FCO source said.

The level of these Arab countries’ representation is not clear.

The source said the gathering will be “a Counter-IS Coalition Small Group Meeting.”

“Thursday’s meeting will take stock of progress so far and help co-ordinate the international effort against IS,” the source said.

The UK announced earlier that other partners in the 62-country US-led international coalition against IS will take part in London talks.

As well as the UK and US, Australia, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Turkey are planned to attend the talks.

According to the US State Department, twenty of the partners are providing air support or other military equipment to the military air campaign against IS in Iraq and Syria. Others partners are supplying logistical or humanitarian aid.

Egypt pledged support to the US-led military effort against IS but without committing troops.

Last month, the UK government confirmed that UAE warplanes “have flown more sorties than any coalition member bar the US.”

It added: “Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar have made telling contributions to the US-led military response” to IS.

British Tornados and surveillance aircraft have been helping with intelligence gathering and logistics in the whole region.

On 5 November, the UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced that his country is planning to offer advisory personnel to Iraqi military and security headquarters, as well as providing additional training to Kurdish fighters, known as Peshmerga.

 

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