US warns that Daesh extremists still a world threat

US and Italy urge representatives of the 77 other countries and five organizations that make up the Global Coalition not to drop their guard against Daesh. (SPA)
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US and Italy urge representatives of the 77 other countries and five organizations that make up the Global Coalition not to drop their guard against Daesh. (SPA)
US and Italy urge representatives of the 77 other countries and five organizations that make up the Global Coalition not to drop their guard against Daesh. (SPA)
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US and Italy urge representatives of the 77 other countries and five organizations that make up the Global Coalition not to drop their guard against Daesh. (SPA)
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan participates in the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh in Rome. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan participates in the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh in Rome. (SPA)
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan participates in the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh in Rome. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan participates in the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh in Rome. (SPA)
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan participates in the ministerial meeting on Syria at the joint invitation of the US and Italy in Rome. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan participates in the ministerial meeting on Syria at the joint invitation of the US and Italy in Rome. (SPA)
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan participates in the ministerial meeting on Syria at the joint invitation of the US and Italy in Rome. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan participates in the ministerial meeting on Syria at the joint invitation of the US and Italy in Rome. (SPA)
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Updated 29 June 2021

US warns that Daesh extremists still a world threat

US and Italy urge representatives of the 77 other countries and five organizations that make up the Global Coalition not to drop their guard against Daesh. (SPA)
  • Blinken and Di Maio urged representatives of the 77 other countries and five organizations that make up the coalition not to drop their guard
  • ‘We must not lose sight of the fact that the threat of this organization still exists,’ Saudi FM says

WASHINGTON DC/LONDON: As the US works on its military withdrawal from Afghanistan, members of the global coalition fighting Daesh met Monday to chart future steps against the extremist group.
The meeting came just a day after the US launched airstrikes against Iran-backed militias near the Iraq-Syria border.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio co-chaired the gathering of senior officials from the seven-year-old, 83-member bloc. Participants were taking stock of current efforts to ensure the complete defeat of Daesh, whose remnants still pose a threat in Iraq and Syria and have shown signs of surging in parts of Africa.
Amid significant other international priorities, including taming the coronavirus pandemic and stepping up the fight against climate change, the coalition is hoping to stabilize areas liberated from Daesh, repatriate and hold foreign fighters accountable for their actions and combat extremist messaging.
Blinken and Di Maio urged representatives of the 77 other countries and five organizations that make up the coalition not to drop their guard.
“We must step up the action taken by the coalition, increasing the areas in which we can operate,” said Di Maio.
Outside of Iraq and Syria, he said there was an “alarming” surge in Daesh activity, particularly in the Sahel, Mozambique and the Horn of Africa. He called for the coalition to create a special mechanism to deal with the threat in Africa.
Blinken noted that despite their defeat, Daesh elements in Iraq and Syria "still aspire to conduct large-scale attacks."
“Together, we must stay as committed to our stabilization goals as we did to our military campaign that resulted in victory on the battlefield,” he said.
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said that his country appreciated the great role played by the coalition, which had a decisive role in eliminating Daesh’s expansion and spread in Iraq and Syria, and liberating nearly 8 million people from its control in those areas.
“Despite these achievements, we must not lose sight of the fact that the threat of this organization still exists, which requires everyone to continue efforts and coordination to contain its spread and eliminate it completely,” he said.


Prince Faisal, who headed the Kingdom’s delegation at the ministerial meeting on a joint invitation from the US and Italy, thanked Blinken and Di Maio for the invite and welcomed the new members of the global coalition and said he was looking forward to working together to continue joint efforts to combat Daesh.
“Saudi Arabia continues to maintain its firm position toward supporting the efforts of the global coalition against Daesh, and this position stems from the Kingdom’s keenness on Iraq’s stability and the extension of its influence and sovereignty over its entire territory,” he added.
He also praised Iraq’s efforts and its continuous coordination with the global coalition to eliminate the terrorist organization.
He said the Kingdom was keen to support the coalition through its five military tracks, including supporting stability, eliminating the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters, preventing the financing and flow of funds to the terrorist organization, and combating Daesh’s ideology.

The Saudi foreign minister also said the Kingdom recognized the need to unify efforts, exchange information and effectively coordinate to eliminate the spread of Daesh in the African continent, and specifically the Sahel regions, “given the threats this organization and other terrorist organizations pose to international peace and security.”
Prince Faisal said: “We stress the importance of cooperation and the development of an action mechanism with partners in the African continent and international partners, with full respect for the rules of international law, to combat Daesh and prevent its spread in those areas.”
He also welcomed the presence of a number of delegations of African countries as observers at the meeting.


Blinken announced a new US contribution of $436 million to assist displaced people in Syria and surrounding countries and called for a new effort to repatriate — and rehabilitate or prosecute — some 10,000 IS fighters who remain imprisoned by the Syrian Defense Forces.
“This situation is simply untenable,” Blinken said. “It just can’t persist indefinitely.”
He also announced sanctions against Ousmane Illiassou Djibo, a native of Niger, who is a key leader of a Daesh affiliate in the greater Sahara. Djibo was designated a global terrorist, meaning that any of his US are frozen and Americans are barred from any transactions with him.
In addition to the meeting on Daesh, foreign ministers of countries concerned about the broader conflict in Syria met in Rome ahead of a critical UN vote on whether to maintain a humanitarian aid corridor from Turkey. Russia has resisted reauthorizing the channel amid stalled peace talks between the Syrian government and rebel groups.
The Saudi foreign minister said the Syria meeting comes as a step that shows the continued interest in one of the worst international crises, and added the Kingdom was looking forward to putting an end to the suffering of the Syrian people that has continued for more than ten years.
He reiterated the Kingdom’s affirmation that a political solution is the only solution to the Syrian crisis, in accordance with Resolution No. 2254 and other related international resolutions.


He called for international consensus to stop the human suffering of the Syrian people, to find a solution to the border crossings crisis, and to ensure the flow of international aid to those who need it.
He said it was important not to politicize the humanitarian issue in Syria, not to neglect the humanitarian needs of the Syrian people, and that neglecting this provided a suitable environment for the growth and spread of terrorist organizations and extremist ideology.
“The absence of an effective international will to solve the Syrian crisis contributed to the opportunity for some parties to implement expansionist, sectarian and demographic projects aimed at changing Syria’s identity, and portends the prolonged Syrian crisis and its regional and international effects,” Prince Faisal said.
He called for uniting efforts to resume the negotiating process, support the efforts of the UN and its special envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen, and provide all aspects of support required for his mission to succeed.
Last week, the UN special envoy for Syria, Geir Pederson, said there were worrying signs that Daesh may be getting stronger in the country and called for a boost in cooperation to counter it. Pederson has also joined calls for new international talks on ending Syria's civil war.
Since the Syrian conflict erupted in March 2011, numerous high-level gatherings aimed at ending the fighting and guiding the country to a political transition have failed. The UN, US, Russia and many other countries support a 2015 Security Council resolution endorsing a road map to peace in Syria that calls for a new constitution followed by UN-supervised elections.
Blinken also hailed the state of US-European relations, noting that Italy, France and Germany — the three countries he visited on his current European tour — are the only members of NATO, the Group of Seven and the European Union.
“We share a deep commitment to promoting democracy and human rights,” he said. “We see the same big challenges on the horizon. And we recognize that we can’t tackle them alone.”
Blinken and Di Maio downplayed differences between the US and Italy over China, saying there was an increasing awareness of the complexities and dangers of dealing with Beijing.

(With AP)