Kerry builds support at UN for coalition against Islamic State


Sun, Sep 21, 2014 - Page 1

US Secretary of State John Kerry brought together 35 countries at the UN Security Council on Friday to build support for Iraq’s new government and the campaign to confront extremists.

The crisis triggered by the Islamic State group’s seizure of large tracts of Iraq and Syria has challenged countries that are often in conflict to confront a common enemy.

Washington’s traditional foe, Iran, was represented by Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif. US allies France, the UK, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar also sent senior representatives.

Kerry said the turnout showed “the clear need for all of us to come together, to welcome and to support the new inclusive government in Iraq and... put an end to ISIL’s unfettered barbarity.”

The Islamic State was formerly known the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Washington insists that it will not cooperate militarily with Iran, despite Tehran offering support to both Iraq and Syria in the battle against the group.

This week, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that he had rejected a private approach from the US suggesting cooperation on the battlefield. US officials have not confirmed or denied making a request in private.

The council adopted a statement condemning the terrorist group and expressing support for the new government of Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi.

“ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple. It has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way,” Kerry told the council. “In the face of this sort of evil, we have only one option: To confront it with a holistic, global campaign that is committed and capable of degrading and destroying this terrorist threat.”

The group controls large sections of Iraq and Syria after a summer offensive.