U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that he and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov have agreed to step up intelligence sharing over the Islamic State (IS) group.
“I suggested to Foreign Minister Lavrov that we intensify intelligence cooperation with respect to ISIL and other counter-terrorism challenges of the region and we agreed to do so,” Kerry said using an alternative name for the IS jihadists.
He said that during a three-hour-and-15-minute meeting in Paris, the two top diplomats had discussed “whether Russia could do more to support Iraqi security forces” fighting IS.
The hardline group has seized large swathes of territory in both Iraq and Syria.
“The foreign minister indeed acknowledged their preparedness to help with respect to arms, weapons, they are doing that now, they already have provided some, and also potentially with the training and advising aspects,” said Kerry.
He said he and Lavrov recognised “that ISIL has absolutely no place in the 21st century”.
“No decent country by any definition can support the horrors perpetrated by ISIL. And no civilised country should shirk its responsibility to stand up and be part of the effort to stamp out this disease.”
For his part, Lavrov said that while Moscow and Washington still had “differences of opinion” they both had a particular role to play in resolving global problems.
“They must cooperate more effectively, especially in the fight against terrorism.”