POlish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski has left for Washington D.C., where he will take part in the anti-Islamic State Coalition meeting on Thursday. Representatives of 40 nations, alongside EU, UN and NATO envoys are scheduled to review the coalition’s achievements so far and discuss the next steps it will take to counter fundamentalist terrorism in Syria and Iraq.
Large parts of two war-torn countries remain a stronghold of the Islamic State terrorist group, also known as Daesh.
The militants have, however, been losing ground, with territories under their control shrinking in the first half of the year, according to British think-tank IHS.
“In 2015, the Islamic State’s caliphate shrunk by 12,800 sq km to 78,000 sq km, a net loss of 14%,” IHS wrote in a report released earlier in July.
Thursday’s gathering begins with a plenary session of foreign and defence ministers devoted to fighting militants in Iraq.
The attendees, among them Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz, will focus on coordinating military and political efforts, such as financing the anti-IS campaign and bringing stability to areas reclaimed from the Islamic State, according to press reports.
In the afternoon, foreign ministers are to debate the ongoing anti-IS campaign in Syria and other besieged territories in the region.
“Minister Waszczykowski will also take part in a working breakfast hosted by US Secretary of State John Kerry,” ministry spokesman Rafał Sobczak told journalists on Wednesday.
Set up in 2014, the US-led anti-Islamic State Coalition aims to combat the extremist group, which the United Nations considers an unprecedented threat to peace and security on a global scale.
To shore up the international offensive against the sprawling terrorist network, Poland decided in June to deploy two military contingents to Kuwait and Iraq. The Polish troops are set to take part in reconnaissance and training missions rather than in combat operations.
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