NATIONAL

G20 vows to step up anti-terror coordination



The agreement, Mr. Obama said after the release of the G20 communique at the close of two days of talks, will allow U.S. personnel to pass threat information including on IS to French partners even more quickly and more often, “because we need to be doing everything we can to protect ourselves against more attacks.”

“We reaffirm that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group,” the G20 leaders said in a standalone statement on the fight against terrorism released alongside the summit communique.

The statement, the first-ever political communique, condemned the “heinous” attacks in Paris on Friday and pledged solidarity in combating terrorism.

It also expressed concern over the acute and growing flow of foreign terrorist fighters and the threat it poses for all states, including countries of origin, transit and destination.

To tackle the phenomenon, the G20 leaders resolved to develop measures for operational information-sharing and border management. They also pledged to cooperate on preventive measures and appropriate criminal justice response.

Mr. Obama said he had told the other G20 nations that more nations would have to join the coalition in intensifying the strikes against the IS.

“We are sending the message that we are united in this fight to destroy this barbaric terrorist organisation.”

“ISIL is the face of evil,” Mr. Obama said. “Our goal, as I’ve said many times, is to degrade and ultimately destroy this barbaric terrorist organization.” America would intensify efforts to eliminate IS and also bring about a peaceful transition in Syria, he said amid reports of a thaw with Mr. Putin.

“The strategy that we are putting forward is the strategy that is ultimately going to work,” Mr. Obama said. “It’s going to take time.”

However, Mr. Obama ruled out putting U.S. troops on the ground. Increasing the U.S. ground force against the IS in Syria and Iraq would be a serious mistake and lead the nation into an unsustainable strategy requiring a long-term occupation in the region, he said.

“What won’t work is sending thousands more U.S. troops in the fight,” he said. The U.S. will continue its strategy of deploying military power, in the form of airstrikes and working with local forces, applying economic pressure and trying to stabilise the failed states where the IS has taken control of territory.

“We would see a repetition of what we’ve seen before, which is if you do not have local populations that are committed to helping combat extremism…they resurface, unless we are prepared to have a permanent occupation of these countries.”

Mr. Obama also said that an overwhelming majority of the victims of ISIS were Muslims “but it is also true that the most vicious terrorist organisations are the ones who claim to be speaking on behalf of Muslims.”Mr. Putin said he had shared Russian intelligence data on IS financing with his G20 colleagues. The data showed that the terrorists appear to be financed from 40 countries, including some G20 member states.

“I provided examples based on our data on the financing of different Islamic State units by private individuals. This money, as we have established, comes from 40 countries and, there are some G20 members among them,” he told journalists.

“Some armed opposition groups consider it possible to begin active operations against IS with Russia’s support. And we are ready to provide such support from the air.”