Trump to Host 68-Nation Summit on Countering Islamic State, Officials SayBy and
Global Coalition to Counter ISIS to meet in D.C. March 22-23
Tillerson to lead strategy session on fighting terror group
President Donald Trump’s administration is inviting a 68-nation coalition fighting Islamic State to meet in Washington later this month to plan their next moves as the group loses ground in its former strongholds in Iraq and Syria, according to two administration officials.
Foreign ministers from the coalition, as well as representatives of international organizations, are expected to meet March 22-23 to plan strategy for countering the terror group, said the officials, who requested anonymity because the plans aren’t yet public.
The summit, which will be led by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, is a ministerial-level gathering of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS, a group begun by former President Barack Obama that is committed to eliminating the threat from the terror organization, the officials said.
The announcement, expected from the State Department later Thursday, comes as the U.S. has positioned Marines and Rangers in Syria as part of a 400-member force temporarily deployed for an assault the city of Raqqa, which is now under Islamic State control.
The coalition meeting will be held the same week Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is to visit with Trump at the White House. It’s being announced only days after the Trump administration rolled out a revised travel ban affecting six mostly Muslim nations but exempting Iraq. Two countries on that list, Libya and Somalia, are members of the coalition.
The meeting was reported earlier by the Washington Post.
The coalition meets every three or four months. The last meeting was at the policy director level in November in Berlin, while foreign ministers last gathering in Washington in July, according to one of the administration officials.