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  • German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. (Photo: Reuters)

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. (Photo: Reuters) | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 October 2014

The European power wants to convince Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern nations to join in the fight against the Islamic State.

Saudi Crown Prince Salman and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier met on Monday in Jeddah, with the Islamic State on the top of the agenda.

Earlier on in the day, the deputy head of the German mission, Michael Ohnmacht said, "Steinmeier will hold talks with Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal on a range of bilateral and regional issues during his two-day visit to the Kingdom."

But Steinmeier said at the meeting that Germany would not send ground troops.

He said that, "in the current circumstances, we will not send ground troops to Syria."

The German politician added that "it is easy to demand something like that when you know full well that such a mandate will not actually happen."

This comes after German Greens leader Katrin Goring-Eckardt said that the Islamic State could only be defeated militarily, but under the auspices of the United Nations. 

Before flying into Saudi Arabia, Steinmeier said in a statement on Sunday: "Saudi Arabia plays a central role in facing crises in the region. In fighting IS, it will be crucial to reach an understanding and develop a common political strategy above and beyond military action."

The statement also noted that, "Through hosting the conference in Jeddah on September 12, which brought regional players together for the first time, and through the important participation in the international alliance in the fight against IS, Saudi Arabia adopted a leadership role in the region."

Germany is currently working to convince more countries to actively participate in the fight against the Islamic State insurgent group. 

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