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Kerry shuns Iran attendance at IS conference

September 12, 2014

US Secretary of State John Kerry has said it would be inappropriate for Iran to attend an upcoming meeting in Paris set to focus on "Islamic State" advances in Iraq due to Tehran's "engagement" in Syria.

John Kerry in der Türkei 12.09.2014
Image: Reuters/B. Smialowski

"No one has called me and asked me with respect to the presence of Iran, but I think under the circumstances at this moment in time... it would not be appropriate given the many other issues... with respect to their engagement in Syria and elsewhere," Kerry told reporters in the Turkish capital, Ankara referring to Tehran's support of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The meeting on IS in Paris is set to take place on Monday.

Kerry was in Ankara to press Turkey to join an international coalition against IS.

Kerry has managed to gain support from 10 Arab countries including Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Egypt, who have pledged "to do their share" in the strikes against IS.

Earlier Friday, the US' top diplomat said that he was confident that a broad-based coalition including Arab and European nations along with the US would be formed against the IS militants in Iraq.

"I am comfortable that it would be a broad-based coalition with Arab nations, European nations, the United States and others, contributing to every single different facet of what [President Barack] Obama laid out as a strategy... to degrade and destroy," the IS militants, Kerry told a press conference in Istanbul.

In a televised address on Thursday, President Obama said he was prepared to expand the military campaign against the IS into neighboring Syria, the militant group's main base of operations.

hc/kms (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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