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Kerry and Lieberman meet in Paris on Iraq dilemma

JTA

June 26, 2014 | 2:47 pm

<em>Secretary of State John Kerry on April 17. Photo by Jim Bourg/Reuters</em>

Secretary of State John Kerry on April 17. Photo by Jim Bourg/Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman, discussed the threat posed by an Islamist insurgency in Iraq.

In their meeting Thursday in Paris, Kerry briefed Liberman on his trip to Iraq this week and asked the Israeli foreign minister for his views on the threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, an unnamed senior State Department official said in a written briefing.

ISIL is the terrorist army that in recent weeks has scored substantial gains in Iraq and remains a key player in Syria.

Kerry “made clear that we felt that resolving the political process, resolving the political situation on the ground is vital, but also reiterated that it’s important that countries in the region stand together against the threat,” the official said. “They also had a discussion about the longer-term threat of a range of groups and how to take that on and how to address that over the long term, both in the Middle East, in North Africa.”

Israeli officials have expressed concerns that Obama administration strategies for stopping ISIL should not empower Iran, which backs the Iraqi government.

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