Arab League foreign ministers agreed on Sunday to take all necessary measures to confront Daesh (Islamic State) and cooperate with international, regional and national efforts to combat militants who have overrun swathes of Iraq and Syria.
The Arab League also endorsed in the closing statement of its meeting
in Cairo a UN Security Council resolution passed last month calling on
member states to "act to suppress the flow of foreign fighters,
financing and other support to Islamist extremist groups in Iraq and
The final text did not directly endorse either the Iraqi or U.S.
campaign against Islamic State, but diplomatic sources said the wording
clearly offered Arab cooperation to U.S. and Iraqi efforts and could be
read as a tacit agreement to back Washington's campaign against the
Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi suggested that military action could take place under the umbrella of an Arab League joint defence pact. It was not clear whether the Arab commitment to take all necessary
action against Islamic State and other militant groups would include
direct military involvement.
In a change of position, the Arab League statement also called for
Syrian opposition groups to hold talks with the state aimed at creating a
As the Syrian conflict has dragged on and Islamic militants have taken
the upper hand, early Arab League support for opponents of Bashar
al-Assad has given way to a more cautious tone.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is to travel to Saudi Arabia and
Jordan in the coming week for talks with Gulf leaders to determine
whether they are prepared to back up their anti-jihadist rhetoric with