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Lieberman: ‘Israel can offer support for moderate Arab states fighting extremists’

Israel is willing to help moderate Arab states face the threat of Islamist extremists, the country’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, during a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Paris yesterday.

According to a statement issued by his office, Lieberman said: “Extremists who are currently working in Iraq will seek to destabilise the entire Gulf region, particularly Kuwait” and added that “Israel can offer effective and feasible support for moderate Arab states that are fighting extremists” without further details.

According to the statement Lieberman stressed that the Israeli interests are consistent with the interests of moderate Arab states because “the two sides are facing the Iranian threat, the global jihad and Al-Qaeda as well as the consequences of the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts in neighbouring countries”.

He continued: “Today there is a basis to establish diplomatic and political structure of a new Middle East.”

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Kerry said: “It is important that the region’s countries establish a common front in the face of the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).”

Commenting on Lieberman’s offer, a US State Department official said it “has not been raised on the basis of the threat posed by ISIS today. But Foreign Minister, Lieberman spoke in general about the idea of a common threat posed by extremists in the region’s countries.”

On June 10, ISIS seized Mosul, the largest city in northern Iraq.

During his stay in Paris, Kerry, who is scheduled to travel to Saudi Arabia today, held a series of discussions with officials from the Gulf region on the Iraqi crisis.

During the meeting, Lieberman delivered to Kerry an appeal from the families of the three settlers who disappeared on June 12 in the occupied West Bank.

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