Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

#TECH 24

WorldRemit: Helping migrant workers send money back home

Read more

FOCUS

The challenges awaiting the new leader of South Africa's ANC

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Bangladeshi PM calls violence in Myanmar 'unacceptable'

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Was 2017 the worst year for the environment?

Read more

ENCORE!

Rhiannon Giddens strikes out on her 'Freedom Highway'

Read more

#THE 51%

Not such a feminist paradise: Iceland struggles to deal with violence towards women

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Climate change: Half of Mexico's coffee plantations have disappeared

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

The legendary Swallow Line train in France's Jura region

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Japanese FM against 'dialogue for the sake of dialogue' with Pyongyang

Read more

Middle East

Arab states to take 'necessary' steps to defeat IS jihadists

© AFP/Yasser Al-Zayyat

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2014-09-07

Arab state foreign ministers meeting in Cairo agreed to take all "necessary measures" to oppose Islamic State (IS) jihadists, Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi said Sunday, adding that the group poses an existential threat to regional governments.

Arab states agreed Sunday to take the "necessary measures" and were prepared to cooperate internationally to confront Islamic State militants, Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi said.

At the start of a foreign ministers' meeting in Cairo, Arabi had called for a political and military confrontation with the jihadists and other militants he said threatened the existence of Arab states.

He later stopped short of explicitly backing US air strikes targeting IS jihadists who control swathes of Iraq and Syria.

"The Arab foreign ministers have agreed to take the necessary measures to confront terrorist groups including" IS, Arabi said at a news conference.

"International cooperation is included; international cooperation on all fronts," he said.

The ministers agreed to "take all measures to counter terrorism: political, security and ideological," he added, without spelling out what these measures would be.

His remarks came as the United States expanded air strikes against the militants and sought wider regional backing for its campaign.

Arabi had earlier urged the foreign ministers to take "a clear decision for a comprehensive confrontation, militarily and politically".

Iraq had welcomed US President Barack Obama's plan for an international coalition against jihadists as a "strong message of support", after repeatedly calling for aid against the militants.

Obama outlined the plan at a NATO summit Friday for a broad coalition to defeat IS, which led an offensive that overran parts of Iraq in June and also holds significant territory in neighbouring Syria.

Obama's IS 'game plan'

He said Sunday he will make a speech on Wednesday to lay out his "game plan" to deal with and ultimately defeat IS, but warned he would not wage another ground war in Iraq.

IS, originally an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Iraq that expanded in the Syrian conflict, claims its chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is the rightful leader, or Caliph, of all Muslims.

The group's astonishing rise in Syria and Iraq caught the weak government in Baghdad, and much of the region, off guard.

Arabi said IS posed a threat to the entire region.

"What is happening in Iraq is that the terrorist organisation not only threatens a state's authority, but threatens its very existence and the existence of other states," he said.

Arab countries have participated in Western-led military campaigns in the past, including the first Gulf War and the aerial campaign against the late Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

The United States on Sunday expanded its month-long air campaign against the militants in Iraq's Sunni Arab heartland, hitting IS fighters west of Baghdad as Iraq troops launched a ground assault.

Aside from fighting in Iraq, Arab states are concerned that IS is coordinating with domestic extremists and that militants who travelled to join the group may conduct attacks on their return home.

In Egypt, several militants who have carried out attacks on security forces since the army overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 had travelled to fight in Syria.

Egypt's main militant group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, has not publicly pledged its loyalty to IS, but has referred to the jihadists as "brothers".

(AFP)

 

Date created : 2014-09-07

  • JORDAN

    Radical cleric Abu Qatada denounces IS beheadings

    Read more

  • LEBANON

    Video: Lebanon’s communities unite in fear of IS militants

    Read more

  • ARAB WORLD - MEDIA

    Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

COMMENT(S)