World

Kerry seeks Egypt's support for coalition against Islamic State group

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, talks to Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. Kerry arrived in Cairo for a short visit of less than a day to discuss how Egypt can help in the fight against the Islamic State group. He has been on a regional trip to garner support for President Barack Obama’s initiative to assemble a coalition of nations willing to go after the militant group. Kerry heads to Paris next for a meeting on how to support Iraq in its fight against the Islamic State group, which holds large parts of Iraq and Syria. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, talks to Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. Kerry arrived in Cairo for a short visit of less than a day to discuss how Egypt can help in the fight against the Islamic State group. He has been on a regional trip to garner support for President Barack Obama’s initiative to assemble a coalition of nations willing to go after the militant group. Kerry heads to Paris next for a meeting on how to support Iraq in its fight against the Islamic State group, which holds large parts of Iraq and Syria. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, takes a seat before a meeting with Arab League officials in Cairo, Egypt, on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. Kerry arrived in Cairo for a short visit of less than a day to discuss how Egypt can help in the fight against the Islamic State group. He has been on a regional trip to garner support for President Barack Obama's initiative to assemble a coalition of nations to go after the militant group. Kerry heads to Paris next for a meeting on how to support Iraq in its fight against the Islamic State group, which holds large parts of Iraq and Syria. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, takes a seat before a meeting with Arab League officials in Cairo, Egypt, on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. Kerry arrived in Cairo for a short visit of less than a day to discuss how Egypt can help in the fight against the Islamic State group. He has been on a regional trip to garner support for President Barack Obama's initiative to assemble a coalition of nations to go after the militant group. Kerry heads to Paris next for a meeting on how to support Iraq in its fight against the Islamic State group, which holds large parts of Iraq and Syria. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri, left, and President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, right, listen to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry before a meeting at the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. Kerry arrived in Cairo for a short visit of less than a day to discuss how Egypt can help in the fight against the Islamic State group. He has been on a regional trip to garner support for President Barack Obama’s initiative to go assemble a coalition of nations willing to go after the militant group. Kerry heads to Paris next for a meeting on how to support Iraq in its fight against the Islamic State group, which holds large parts of Iraq and Syria. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)

    Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri, left, and President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, right, listen to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry before a meeting at the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. Kerry arrived in Cairo for a short visit of less than a day to discuss how Egypt can help in the fight against the Islamic State group. He has been on a regional trip to garner support for President Barack Obama’s initiative to go assemble a coalition of nations willing to go after the militant group. Kerry heads to Paris next for a meeting on how to support Iraq in its fight against the Islamic State group, which holds large parts of Iraq and Syria. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says Egypt is an "important partner" in the emerging coalition aimed at beating back the extremist Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

During a visit to Cairo on Saturday, Kerry said that "as an intellectual and cultural capital to the Muslim world," Egypt has a "critical role" to play in denouncing the extremist group's harsh ideology.

Egypt is home to Al-Azhar University, one of the oldest and most revered centers of religious learning for Sunni Muslims.

Kerry spoke after meeting with Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. Egypt is unlikely to send troops to battle the Islamic State group but could provide logistical and intelligence support to the coalition.