Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shokri called for a global strategy to fight terrorism ahead of a regional meeting on combatting extremism set to be held in Jeddah on Thursday.
The Jeddah meeting, which will be attended by representatives from a number of Arab and international states, comes as US President Barack Obama prepared on Wednesday to put forward a comprehensive plan to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The Jeddah meeting will look to form an international “alliance” to combat terrorism and extremist ideology.
“Cairo will discuss every effort which can be made by the alliance to eradicate the phenomenon of extremist groups in the region,” an Egyptian diplomatic source said. However the Egyptian diplomat, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media, refused to specify whether Egypt would seek to play a political or military role in the anti-extremist alliance.
Speaking at a news conference in Cairo on Tuesday, Shokri said: “It is common knowledge that Egypt is suffering from the problem of terrorism.”
He described the Jeddah meeting as an ideal opportunity to develop a unified vision to deal with terrorism and extremism in the Middle East, citing advancing ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria as a major threat to regional stability.
The Egyptian foreign minister stressed the need to develop a strategy to fight terrorism wherever it exists by correcting misconceptions and clarifying the true image of Islam. Egypt’s top religious body Al-Azhar has issued a number of fatwas in recent months condemning extremist ideology.