Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Badr Abdelatty stressed the importance of formulating an informative message with a specified content that destroys the erroneous intellectual and religious basis of extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS).
His comments came during the international conference to counter ISIS held in Kuwait on Monday. The conference was attended by Britain, France, Turkey, and a number of Arab nations including Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates.
The conference was headed by Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL [ISIS] General John R. Allen and Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Khaled Suleiman Al-Jarallah.
Egypt is part of the US-led coalition that aims to “degrade and ultimately destroy [ISIS]”. The US, UK, and Gulf countries are carrying out airstrikes on the group in Iraq, while the US is also carrying out strikes against ISIS targets in Syria, supported by Jordan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE.
Egypt participated in a meeting in mid-October in the US, headed by US President Barack Obama, who stressed that there is no “quick fix” in the military and ideological fight against ISIS.
Abdelatty reiterated the Egyptian stance against terrorism that it poses a global threat, and that action is needed in Egypt in order “to defeat terrorist organisations” referring to the militant attacks in North Sinai on Friday that killed 30 military personnel.
In response to the attacks, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi ordered the implementation of emergency law in parts of North Sinai and heightened security presence in the region.
Abdelatty claimed that it is important that the international community deals with all terrorist organisations without exception as they adopt the same extremist ideology. He also emphasised the role that the Islamic institutions Al-Azhar and Dar Al-Ifta can play in combating extremist ideologies.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry said in September during a meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia about the ISIS threat that Egypt must “fight its own battle against a common enemy”. Following this statement, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Shoukry met in Cairo earlier in October where they clarified Egypt’s role in the coalition, which is to renounce “the ideology of hatred and violence that [ISIS] spread”, said Kerry.
The extremist group launched a surprise offensive in June in Iraq, overrunning the US-trained army in the north of the country and claiming large swathes of territory in both Iraq and Syria, killing those who opposed them and hunting down religious minorities including Shi’a muslims and Yazidis. The group has since self styled itself as ‘Islamic State’ and named Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the leader of the state, who changed his name to Caliph Ibrahim to suit his role.