Israel hails US efforts to fight IS but worries on Iran

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman pictured before the arrival of his Norwegian counterpart Borge Brende at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Jerusalem on September 7, 2014Israel on Wednesday hailed US efforts to form an alliance to fight jihadists in Syria and Iraq but raised concerns of a rapprochement between Washington and Israel’s arch-foe Iran. “I praise the American initiative to take action and form a coalition against the Islamic State, and hope those efforts will succeed,” Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in comments broadcast on public radio early Wednesday, shortly after he left for a visit to Lithuania and the United States. His remarks came as US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Baghdad on an unannounced visit at the start of a Middle East tour aimed at building a regional coalition to combat the extremist Sunni militants who have taken over swathes of territory either side of the Syria-Iraq border. Deputy Foreign Minister Tzahi Hanegbi, who is close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, also praised the initiative but warned it may signal closer ties between the United States and Iran, which has also pledged to join the struggle.

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