Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told visiting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that any global coalition against terrorism should battle not just Islamic State but other groups as well, the presidency said on Saturday.
Egyptian security officials have said Islamic State has established contacts with Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, the country's most dangerous militant group, which has killed hundreds of security forces since the army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Mursi last year after mass protests against him, Reuters reported.
Egypt would certainly welcome strong action against Ansar as well as Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood, which it has declared a terrorist group.
Sisi said any international coalition to combat terrorism "should be comprehensive and not exclusively target a specific organization or eradicate a certain terrorist hotspot", the presidency said in a statement.
"Rather, the coalition should extend to encompass combating terrorism wherever it exists in the Middle East and African regions."
Sisi also expressed concerns about foreign fighters in Islamic State and the danger they posed to their home countries because of Western passports that can get get them through airports undetected.
The statement added that Sisi "warned of the repercussions from the involvement of foreign militants in ongoing regional conflicts".
Egypt's foreign minister, backing Washington's call for global action to counter the threat, said earlier in a news conference with Kerry that Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria were forging ties with other extremist groups in the region.
Militant groups that share Islamic State's ideology and "take Islam as a cover" must be dealt with, said Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri.
Egypt's strong public support for the U.S. campaign against Islamic State contrasts with a mixed response elsewhere in the region and demonstrates how far Cairo has come in restoring its place as a premier U.S. partner in the Arab world since its authoritarian crackdown and military takeover last year.
"We will take all measures that are intended to eliminate this phenomenon altogether, whether in Libya or any other part of the Arab world or in the African continent in particular," Shukri said.
Egypt's call for international action gives a needed boost to Kerry's bid to build global support for President Barack Obama's plan to strike both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi frontier and defeat Islamic State Sunni fighters.
Kerry won backing on Thursday for a "coordinated military campaign" against Islamic State from 10 Arab countries - Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and six Gulf states including rich rivals Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
But the specific role of many countries in the coalition remains unclear. Few have publicly committed to military action or other steps, particularly in Syria where a three-year civil war still rages. Europe's response has been mixed.
But Islamic State stirred new outrage on Saturday with a video purporting to show the beheading of British aid worker David Haines. British Prime Minister David Cameron called it "a despicable and appalling murder," and vowed to bring the killers to justice.