PARIS – Iraq's president says Arab powers Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia do not need to join airstrikes against the Islamic State group.
In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, President Fouad Massoum also expressed regret that Iran was not invited to take part in the 26-nation conference in Paris on Monday to try to counter the Islamic extremists who control vast parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria.
The conference of mostly Western and Arab world countries and the five permanent U.N. Security Council members aims to show a united front, especially from majority-Muslim nations.
A U.S. State Department official said that several Arab countries had offered to conduct airstrikes against Islamic State fighters.
Massoum says it's "not necessary" for Egypt, UAE or Saudi Arabia to participate in airstrikes.