On March 22nd and 23rd, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will lead a two-day meeting with leaders from over 60 nations and international organizations to discuss a strategy to defeat the Islamic State around the world. The Trump administration invited foreign ministers and senior leaders of the Global Coalition to “accelerate international efforts to defeat ISIS in the remaining areas it holds in Iraq and Syria and maximize pressure on its branches, affiliates, and networks.”
The State Department said that the meeting will be the first with all 68 members of the Coalition since 2014.
“We are at an important stage of the fight against ISIS and will use this Ministerial to accelerate international efforts to defeat ISIS in the remaining areas it holds in Iraq and Syria and maximize pressure on its branches, affiliates, and networks,” the State Department said in a statement.
“The ministerial will include a detailed discussion of priorities for the Coalition’s multiple lines of effort, including military, foreign terrorist fighters, counterterrorist financing, counter-messaging, and stabilization of liberated areas, to increase the momentum of the campaign,” the statement continued. “Additionally, Ministers will discuss the ongoing humanitarian crises in Iraq and Syria that are affecting the region.”
The State Department acknowledged that while the fight is not yet over, significant advances in defeating ISIS have been made.
“While many challenges remain, ISIS is cornered in Mosul and increasingly isolated in Raqqa,” the department said. “This Ministerial meeting is a key moment to set ISIS on a lasting and irreversible path to defeat.”
Though the Coalition will be meeting with all 68 members for the first time in years, it has been meeting in smaller groups in order to coordinate specific efforts to combat ISIS. According to the State Department, the last small group meeting with foreign ministers was held in July of 2016 in Washington and the last small group meeting with political directors was held in November 2016 in Berlin.