Egypt is to attend an international summit of nations participating in the coalition against the self-proclaimed ‘Islamic State’ (ISIS), in London on Thursday.
The country is to take part in talks co-chaired between British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond and his US counterpart, Secretary of State John Kerry.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Badr Abdelatty told Daily News Egypt that Deputy Foreign Minister Hamdi Sanad Loza will attend on behalf of Egypt. “Egypt is a member of the coalition and playing out a comprehensive strategy which it is sharing with other member states, providing cultural and intelligence information,” Abdelatty said.
Jen Psaki, US State Department spokesperson, said the one-day talks will involve 20 nations, including Arab states. The talks will focus on “our shared efforts to degrade and defeat ISIL”, an acronym for ISIS that has taken control of large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.
The talks are expected to cover: the phenomenon of foreign fighters, the military campaign against ISIS targets, ISIS’ sources of finance, strategic communications and humanitarian assistance.
“We are also using our role to counter the negative image of Islam and instead show the moderate side of the religion,” Abdelatty told Daily News Egypt.
The following day, Abdel Atty will speak at an international meeting on how to confront the media machinery of the Islamic State, alongside representatives from other nations in the coalition.
Egypt is a supporting member of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State, but is currently not providing military or economic assistance and has expressed a hesitancy to do so. It is positioning itself as a key regional player in the fight against international terrorism and is attempting to acquire a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2016-2017 session.
Egypt’s most militant group ‘State of Sinai’, formerly known as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, pledged their allegiance to the Islamic State in November of last year. The group has claimed almost weekly attacks on the security forces, as the government tries to clamp down on their Islamist insurgency in North Sinai.
This month, President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi made international headlines for calling for a ‘revolution’ within Islam. He said: “It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire Ummah [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world.”