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Middle East

Arab ministers in Saudi discuss Syria, ISIS crises

A handout picture released by the Jordanian Royal Palace on August 14, 2014, shows King Abdullah II meeting with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah in the Red Sea port of Jeddah. (AFP/Jordanian Royal Palace)

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia: Arab foreign ministers held a meeting in Saudi Arabia Sunday to discuss the Syrian conflict and the rise of "extremism" in the region, the official SPA news agency reported.

The meeting came as U.S. media reported that Washington, which has launched air raids in northern Iraq against ISIS, could consider similar action against the jihadists in Syria.

The closed-door talks in the Red Sea city of Jeddah was attended by the foreign ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, as well as an adviser to Jordan's foreign minister, said SPA.

They discussed the Syrian conflict and "challenges including the rise of terrorist extremist ideology."

The ministers agreed on "the need to seriously work to deal with these crises and challenges to preserve security and stability in Arab countries," it said, without giving details.

Egypt's Foreign Ministry said Saturday that the meeting would address "the growing presence in Iraq and Syria of extremists," notably ISIS.

The rise of ISIS meant the "search for a political solution to the Syria crisis was needed more than ever," it said.

Since declaring a "caliphate" in June, ISIS has conducted a lightning offensive, taking control of territory straddling Iraq and Syria.

The jihadists sparked worldwide horror this week when they released a video showing its beheading of US journalist James Foley.

 

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