British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond speaks at press conference in Bratislava, on October 30, 2014
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond speaks at press conference in Bratislava, on October 30, 2014 © Samuel Kubani - AFP/File
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond speaks  at press conference in Bratislava, on October 30, 2014
AFP
Last updated: January 18, 2015

UK and US to host talks on Islamic State in London Thursday

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and US Secretary of State John Kerry will host a meeting in London on Thursday of members of the coalition against the Islamic State group, officials said.

The one-day talks will involve foreign ministers from about 20 countries, including Arab states, to discuss progress so far on tackling the Islamist militants who occupy swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.

A British official confirmed the meeting will take place at Lancaster House in central London, a fortnight after deadly attacks in Paris by three gunmen claiming to act on behalf of Al-Qaeda and the IS group.

"This will be an important opportunity to take stock and assess the progress made so far in our joint efforts to tackle ISIL's poisonous ideology," Hammond told the Daily Telegraph newspaper, using an alternative name for IS.

"The key active partners in the coalition, including our Arab partners, will gather in London to decide what more we need to do to degrade and defeat ISIL.

"It's vital that we consider what more we can all do to tackle the issue of foreign fighters, to clamp down on ISIL's financing, to step up humanitarian assistance and continue our co-ordinated military campaign."

The meeting comes after US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron met in Washington this week.

Discussions will focus on five areas -- foreign fighters, the military campaign against IS targets, its sources of finances, strategic communications and humanitarian assistance, the official said.

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