Foreign ministers and senior officials from 68 nations allied in the battle against ISIS met in Washington Wednesday to discuss ways of increasing pressure on the terrorist organization and how to help the Iraqi city of Mosul rebuild.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hosted the meeting of the coalition at the Department of State. The last time the U.S.-led anti-ISIS allies last met in full was in in December 2014.

The coalition regularly meets at the Small Group level to coordinate and enhance combined efforts to counter ISIS. The last meeting of foreign ministers took place in Washington, D.C. on July 21, 2016, and the last meeting at the political directors level took place in Berlin, Germany on November 17, 2016.

“We are at an important stage of the fight against ISIS and will use this ministerial to accelerate international efforts to defeat ISIS in the remaining areas it holds in Iraq and Syria and maximize pressure on its branches, affiliates, and networks,” a statement from the U.S. State Department said.

Although it is aiding the Syrian government in its fight against ISIS, Russia was not invited to the meeting because the country is not a member of the coalition.

In an interview with the RT News, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the coalition meeting was a format that we traditionally do not participate in.”.


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The U.S. State Department said the meeting will include detailed discussions of “priorities for the Coalition’s multiple lines of effort, including military, foreign terrorist fighters, counterterrorist financing, counter-messaging, and stabilization of liberated areas, to increase the momentum of the campaign.”

A report from the Canadian Press, however, said that the group is not likely to develop any new strategy because the Trump administration is still “refining its anti-ISIS approach.”

The ministers will also talk about the ongoing humanitarian crises in Iraq and Syria that are affecting the region.