Kerry urges Arabs to back campaign against Islamic State

September 11, 2014 18:20

JEDDAH - US Secretary of State John Kerry pressed Arab leaders on Thursday to back President Barack Obama's new military drive against Islamic State, calling for tighter curbs on funding for militants and fewer extremist messages in Arab media.

Meeting Arab leaders in the Saudi city of Jeddah a day after Obama announced his plans to strike fighters in Iraq and Syria, Kerry also sought permission to make more use of bases in the region and fly more warplanes overhead.

In a hopeful sign of reaching across the sectarian divide that has spread war across the Middle East and fed Islamic State's militancy, Sunni Saudi Arabia said it might open an embassy in Shi'ite-ruled Iraq after decades of mutual suspicion.

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