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Israel Offers 'Moderate' Arab Nations Help Against ISIS

Foreign Minister Liberman tells Secretary Kerry Israel can give effective and reliable assistance' to Arab states against Islamists.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 6/26/2014, 3:57 PM

Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor Liberman
Flash 90

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman met with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Paris on Thursday, and in the process made an offer to help "moderate" Arab nations in the region deal with the threat of Islamist extremists rapidly conquering Iraq.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) has swelled in power since a blitz attack left numerous cities and large portions of Iraq under their control.

"The extremists currently operating in Iraq will try to challenge the stability in the entire Gulf region, first of all in Kuwait," a statement from Liberman's office on the meeting read, reports AFP.

"Israel could provide effective and reliable assistance to moderate Arab states who are dealing with extremists," added the statement, without specifying what sort of "assistance" was implied.

It should be noted that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been critical of American statements hinting at a collaboration at least of intelligence information with Iran, where the Islamic regime that has threatened Israel with nuclear annihilation.

Kuwait, the nation mentioned by Liberman as suffering from instability because of ISIS has shown signs of growing closer to Iran, with Kuwaiti emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah making a historic visit to Iran at the start of the month.

The visit is the first by a leader of Kuwait, which is an ally of the US, to Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Reportedly, the two countries signed six agreements, one of them a security agreement, during the visit.

Kerry, who is on his way to Saudi Arabia for a Friday meeting with the Saudi King, told Liberman it is "important that countries in the region stand together against the threat."

Israel and moderate Arab nations are aligning according to Liberman, who said "both sides (are) dealing with the threat of Iran, world jihad and Al-Qaeda, as well as the spill-over of conflicts in Syria and in Iraq to neighboring countries."

"Today, there is a basis for the creation of a new diplomatic-political structure in the Middle East," Liberman added.

In the meeting, Liberman also gave Kerry an appeal from the parents of Eyal Yifrah (19), Naftali Frenkel (16) and Gilad Sha'ar (16), who were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists two weeks ago.

Frenkel is a US citizen, yet US President Barack Obama has been notably silent over the abduction.

A US State Department official said they are "considering the request" for the parents of the abducted teens to meet with Kerry.

AFP reported a State Department official said Liberman's statements were "not raised with regard to the specific ISIL (ISIS) threat that is ongoing today, but Foreign Minister Liberman did speak generally to the idea of a shared threat to all countries of the region from extremists."