G20 for joint steps to fight terrorism

The Paris attacks took centre stage at the talks between world leaders in the Turkish seaside resort city of Antalya.

November 15, 2015 11:07 pm | Updated November 16, 2021 04:21 pm IST - Antalya (Turkey):

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with U.S. President Barack Obama and other leaders during the G-20 group photo at the G20 Turkey 2015, in Antalya, Turkey on Sunday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with U.S. President Barack Obama and other leaders during the G-20 group photo at the G20 Turkey 2015, in Antalya, Turkey on Sunday.

The crisis in Syria, the base to the Islamic State, which was already high on the G20 Summit’s agenda, in the wake of the attacks by it in Paris, took centre stage at the talks between world leaders in the Turkish seaside resort city of Antalya, not far from the Syrian border. G20 leaders on arriving here for the summit, including U.S. President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, called for joint efforts to combat terrorism.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a joint news conference on Sunday with Mr. Obama, ahead of the G20 Summit, that he expected the meeting to produce a “strong statement” on the fight against terrorism. “We will, of course, carry on with our discussions at the G20 Summit within the predetermined agenda; however, we will put a strong emphasis on having a firm stance on international terrorism,” he said.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he would soon present to the member-states a comprehensive plan to prevent violent extremism.

The leaders will deliberate on terrorism and migration over a working dinner. Traditionally, the forum has primarily discussed global economic issues but the skies had been darkened by the horrific attack in Paris just a day and half ago, Mr. Obama said. “As was true with the terrible attacks that took place in Ankara, the killing of innocent people based on a twisted ideology is an attack not just on France, not just on Turkey, but it’s an attack on the civilised world,” he said.

United against terror: Modi

Mr. Modi, in his lead intervention at the opening session of the G20 Summit, said the leaders were united in condemning the barbaric attacks in Paris, the recent bombings in Ankara and Lebanon.

Earlier, at a meeting of the BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — nations hosted by Mr. Putin, Mr. Modi demanded that the G20 push for stronger, coordinated global action for putting an end to finance, supplies and communication channels of terrorists and an early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. He also sought a special international legal regime to take on terrorist activities and cooperation for the prevention of the use of cyber networks by terrorist groups.

The killing of at least 129 people in Paris on Friday by suicide bombers and gunmen linked to the Islamic State cast a shadow on the two-day summit in Antalya, further raising pressure on the G20 leaders to increase cooperation on fighting terror. Mr. Ban told presspersons that he wished to stress to world leaders that the response needed to be robust but always within the rule of law and with respect for human rights “otherwise we will only fan the fire we are trying to put out.” He said there was a need to address the underline drivers of violent extremism. “No grievance or cause can justify such violence … Those who claim to be acting in the name of religion are only harming their religion … It is tragic to see so many young men so radicalised that they are willing to lose their lives.”

President Putin said: “We have all seen the horror that took place recently in Paris and we sympathise with the affected people ... But we are always in favour of joining efforts to deal effectively with the terrorist threat ... Of course it is necessary to act in strict accordance with the United Nations.”

Coordinating action against Daesh should be the G20’s aim, said Union President Donald Tusk. “Cooperation between us and Russia is a crucial one.”

Mr. Xi expressed shock as also solidarity over both the Paris attacks and the Russian plane disaster. “We will work more closely with the international community to reject and fight terrorism in all its manifestations,” he said.

Earlier, at a meeting ahead of the joint news conference, President Obama and President Erdogan discussed the conflict in Syria and the efforts to secure Turkey’s borders. They also talked about the refugee crisis affecting Turkey and Europe as well as the progress made in Vienna, where, ahead of Mr. Obama’s arrival in Antalya, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry agreed with his counterparts from other countries, including Russia, on a road map for political transition in Syria aimed at ending the over 4-year-long civil war.

“The discussion we had was very helpful in continuing to coordinate work that we are doing together,” Mr. Obama told the conference.

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