DUBAI, August 23 (RIA Novosti) - Top diplomats of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates will meet Sunday to discuss political settlement of the conflict in Syria in the context of the increasing activity of the Islamic State (IS) militants, Sky News Arabia reported citing Egypt's foreign ministry.
Saudi Arabia will host the talks and the sides are expected to address "the growing presence in Iraq and Syria of extremists, notably the Islamic State (IS)," Egypt's foreign ministry was quoted as saying in a statement.
Cairo added that the rise of the IS meant the “search for a political solution to the Syria crisis was needed more than ever.”
The IS, previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS or ISIL), an Al-Qaeda offshoot, was fighting against Syrian President Bashar Assad, and in June launched a large-scale offensive in Iraq, seizing large parts of the country.
In late June, the group declared itself a caliphate and announced its rebranding as the Islamic State.
In August, the United States authorized airstrikes to help Bagdad fight against the terrorists who made hundreds of Iraqis flee.
On August 19, the IS released a video on YouTube showing a masked man beheading an American journalist James Foley, who was taken prisoner in northwest Syria in November 2012.
The journalist’s executioner said in the video that Foley was killed because US President Barack Obama had ordered airstrikes against IS positions in northern Iraq.