Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

USA and Egypt say they are steadfast in fight against IS

USA and Egypt say they are steadfast in fight against IS

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi told US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during their meeting in Cairo on Monday the United States should revive negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.

USA -backed Syrian militias continue to fight in eastern Syria, where Islamic State retains a foothold in the Euphrates River Valley, near the border with Iraq.

Officials told AP on Friday that most of Tillerson's discussions will likely be "difficult", saying those with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey will probably be especially prickly given Turkish military action against US-backed Kurdish rebels in northern Syria and escalating anti-American rhetoric in Ankara.

"We have different views on Jerusalem but we share a commitment to peace", al-Safadi said.

In Rome, at a meeting of defense ministers Tuesday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis flatly rejected one claim by Turkish officials that the U.S.is leaving pockets of Islamic State militants in Syria to prolong the war.

They also discussed the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and Tillerson said the U.S. administration "remains committed to achieving a peace agreement between Israelis and the Palestinians".

In Turkey, he will meet with senior officials to discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues.

Meanwhile, Tillerson said that the United States is keen on reinforcing the bilateral security and political relations with Egypt in the upcoming years.

"In Iraq and Syria, ISIS is attempting to morph into an insurgency".

He said that IS fighters had lost most of the area they once controlled in Syria and Iraq, but he added that the militia "remains a serious threat to the stability of the region, our homelands, and other parts of the globe".

The war against Daesh must remain the priority even though major combat operations are over, Tillerson said.

The United States pledges $200 million in support of the anti-IS coalition efforts in Syria, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced on Tuesday. "They have been able to change two governments in the last seven years and they have undertaken legislative elections and know how to protect their rights and advocate".

He also expressed concern over Saturday's confrontation between Israel and "Iranian assets" in Syria.

Representatives of at least 2,300 companies from 70 countries are attending the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq, which is due to end on Wednesday.

A looming confrontation between Israel and Iran in Syria also is commanding Washington's attention.

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