France working to organise “Small Group” meeting on IS

PARIS, France is seeking to organise, hopefully this week, a meeting of the “Small Group” of nations at the heart of the Coalition combating so-called Islamic State and seeking to assist those victimised by the terrorist group, official sources said.

French President Emmanuel Macron said in a television interview that he wanted to hold a meeting of the “Small Group” this week.

The Foreign Ministry confirmed this objective on Monday in a statement, noting the aims of the group but also stressing France is “holding a dialogue with all countries which have an influence in Syria.” The priorities for Paris, which took part in a missile attack on Syrian chemical weapons sites early Saturday, include “the fight against terrorism, refusal of any use of chemical weapons, humanitarian aid and the search for a political solution” in Syria, the statement noted.

“The meeting of the ?’Small Group?’ announced by the President of the Republic is part of the framework for these efforts,” Paris added.

“We are currently working on organising (a meeting) in the shortest time-frame, in this case, during the coming week,” the Foreign Ministry affirmed.

The “Small Group” comprises core countries in the 70+ anti-IS Coalition and often includes participation by US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Iraq, Norway, Bahrain, Belgium, Jordan, Netherlands, Denmark, Egypt, Turkey, the EU, and the UN.

Source: Kuwait News Agency