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CAIRO — Egypt’s foreign minister said on Saturday ties existed between terror group the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham and other militants in the region and that global action was needed to counter the threat. Sameh Shukri, speaking at a Cairo news conference with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, said regional militant groups shared the same ideology and must be dealt with.
Egypt’s call for international action could bolster Kerry’s bid to gather support for President Barack Obama’s plan to strike both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi frontier to defeat Islamic State Sunni fighters. “Ultimately this extremist ideology is shared by all terrorist groups. We detect ties of cooperation between them and see a danger as it crosses borders,” said Shukri. “We believe that rejecting terrorism is a collective responsibility of all members of the international community.”
Kerry won backing on Thursday for a “coordinated military campaign” against ISIS from 10 Arab countries — Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and six Gulf states including rich rivals Saudi Arabia and Qatar. But it is unclear what role individual nations will play. Kerry said on Saturday that Egypt, seen as the intellectual center of the Arab world, has a critical role to play in countering ISIS’s ideology.