A top official in the United Arab Emirates says his country is prepared to send ground troops to Syria to fight Islamic State militants.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash made the comments in response to a question from The Associated Press on Sunday, days after neighboring Saudi Arabia said it is ready to deploy ground forces if leaders of the U.S.-led international coalition fighting the group call for it.

Gargash says it has been the Emirates' long-held position that a campaign to defeat the group "has to include ground elements."

He says the forces might provide training and support, but the country is "not talking about thousands of troops."