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Arab ministers in Saudi discuss Syria and IS crises

THE LEVANT – Arab foreign ministers held a meeting in Saudi Arabia on Sunday to discuss the Syrian conflict and the rise of “extremism” in the region, the official SPA news agency reported.

The meeting came as US media reported that Washington, which has launched air raids in northern Iraq against Islamic State, could consider similar action against IS 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 advisor 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 the IS.

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

Since declaring a “caliphate” in June, IS 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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