Kerry Lauds Egypt’s ‘Frontline’ Role against Islamism

September 13, 2014  

John Kerry on Saturday held talks with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, as well as meeting the head of the Arab League, Nabil Elaraby.

“Egypt is on the frontline of the fight against terrorism, particularly when it comes to fighting extremist groups in Sinai,” Kerry told a Cairo news conference alongside Shoukry, referring to the Sinai Peninsula, where terrorist groups battling Egyptian forces have expressed support for the Islamist “Islamic State” (IS) organization, which has seized large areas of northern Iraq and Syria.

Shoukry said regional terror groups in Egypt had to be dealt with and that the international community was an international responsibility. “Ultimately this extremist ideology is shared by all terrorist groups,” he elaborated. “We detect ties of cooperation between them and see a danger as it crosses borders.”

Kerry visited Egypt to gain support for a broad coalition of countries to fight IS, reported Deutsche Welle. He had already secured the backing of 10 Arab governments, including Egypt, alongside Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and six Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

“As an intellectual and cultural capital in the Muslim world, Egypt has a critical role to play in publicly denouncing the ideology that ISIL disseminates,” Kerry said, referring to the group by its former name, an acronym for “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.”

Kerry addressed human rights issues with President al-Sisi, Shoukry and others, in a “frank discussion about concerns that have been expressed.” 

However, “the United States doesn’t ever trade its concern for human rights for any other objectives,” the US secretary of state told reporters on Saturday.

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