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World

May 19, 2017

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‘Nato allies favour joining anti-IS coalition’

‘Nato allies favour joining anti-IS coalition’

BRUSSELS: Some Nato allies believe joining the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq could send a strong signal of support and that would not involve a combat role, alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday.

US President Donald Trump meets Nato leaders in Brussels next week with the issue top of the agenda as part of his efforts to get the allies to focus on the terrorist threat and take on more of the defence burden.

Stoltenberg recalled that all 28 Nato member states had joined the anti-IS coalition on an individual basis while the alliance itself had provided AWACS surveillance aircraft to help its operations.

"It is now (being) discussed whether Nato should join," he said as he went into a meeting with EU defence ministers on boosting cooperation.

"Allies who are arguing in favour... (say) that by joining the coalition, Nato could send a clear signal of political support for the coalition and (provide) a better platform for coordinating," he said.

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