CAIRO (AFP) – Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi called Tuesday for international backing of Iraq’s new government in its fight against the Islamic State, as Washington drummed up support for a coalition to defeat the militants.
The Arab League has stopped short of explicitly backing ongoing US air strikes on the IS militants, but US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to seek further support in a meeting with Arab foreign ministers in Saudi Arabia on Thursday.
Iraq’s new Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi formed a government on Monday that Washington said could unite the divided country and potentially undercut Sunni support for the Islamic State militants who oppose the Shiite-dominated government.
Arabi in a statement “expressed his support for the new government in Baghdad, and support for its efforts to counter terrorism by (IS)”.
He “affirmed the necessity of rallying regional and international efforts to bolster Iraq in this critical phase,” the statement added.
Arab foreign ministers who met in Cairo on Sunday agreed to take the “necessary measures” and cooperate internationally to confront the militants, who have also overrun parts of Syria and effectively erased part of its border with Iraq.