MOSCOW, August 25 (RIA Novosti) - The foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates held a meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in order to discuss the situation in Syria and further efforts to fight terrorism and extremist ideology in the region, the Saudi state news agency (SPA) reported Monday.
“The meeting addressed the developments on the Arab arena and the Middle East as well as the challenges faced by the region including the growth of extremist and terrorist ideology and its serious consequences on the countries of the region and the international peace and security. The meeting also discussed the latest developments in Syria and the developments of the crisis on regional and international arenas,” the statement said.
During the talks, the ministers decided on joint actions to fight terrorism in Syria and to find political solutions for the most acute conflicts in the region.
The Islamic State militant group that currently operates in Syrian territory was previously known as either the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). On June 29, after weeks of fighting in Iraq and Syria and the seizure of vast territories in the two countries, the group proclaimed itself a “caliphate” and changed its name to Islamic State.
The group’s leader Abu Bakr Baghdadi has claimed religious authority over all Muslims globally.
The organization was involved in the civil war in Syria, fighting against the government of President Bashar Assad. In June, IS began a large-scale offensive against Iraq’s Shiite government led by Nouri Maliki, aiming to seize Baghdad.
The jihadist group has been added to terrorist organization lists by the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Saudi Arabia and the United Nations. IS has been accused of multiple killings, kidnappings and torture.