Arab states agreed to take the “necessary measures” to confront the so-called “Daesh” [ISIL] extremist group at a meeting of foreign ministers in Egypt’s Cairo on Sunday, as US President Barack Obama prepares to go to lawmakers and the American public with his own plan to stop the militants.
Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby said at a news conference, “The Arab foreign ministers have agreed to take the necessary measures to confront terrorist groups including” “Daesh,” without explicitly supporting US calls for a coalition to back its air campaign against the militants in Iraq.
“What is needed is a clear decision for a comprehensive confrontation, militarily and politically,” Elarabi said, a day after he and US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed “Daesh.”
A senior US State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to publicly discuss the private conversation, said that Kerry updated Elaraby on efforts to combat the insurgents.
“They discussed the need for the Arab League and its members to take a strong position in the coalition that is developing … and the importance of decisive action” to stop the flow of foreign fighters, disrupt “Daesh” financing and combat incitement, the official said.
The Arab League moreover endorsed in the closing statement of its meeting a UN Security Council resolution passed last month [August] calling on member states to “act to suppress the flow of foreign fighters, financing and other support to extremist groups in Iraq and Syria.”
It wasn’t immediately clear what steps the Arab League would take in supporting the West’s campaign against “Daesh.”
Elaraby said the rise of “Daesh” in Iraq challenged not merely the authority of the state but “its very existence and the existence of other states” and called for a decisive resolution to confront terrorism militarily, politically, economically and culturally.
He noted that the Arab League’s member states have failed to help each other in the past when facing local armed groups, often because of disagreements and fear of being accused of meddling in one another’s affairs.
Meanwhile, Obama will meet with congressional leaders on Tuesday and then outline his plan to tackle “Daesh” to the American public on Wednesday, the eve of the 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.