World leaders vowed on Monday to step up cooperation to fight terrorism hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed a 10-point plan to tackle the global menace by delinking it from religion and isolating sponsors and supporters.
At the G20 summit in Turkey, leaders pledged a strong response to a spate of deadly attacks last week by Islamic State (ISIS) in Paris which killed at least 129 people, while they agreed to choke terror financing, intensify intelligence sharing and tighten border controls.
“The fight against terrorism is a major priority for all of our countries and we reiterate our resolve to work together to prevent and suppress terrorist acts through increased international solidarity and cooperation,” said a joint statement, the first of its kind. “We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the heinous terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November and in Ankara on 10 October.”
The statement came on the heels of Modi pitching for a “comprehensive global strategy to combat terrorism” with a greater role for the UN while condemning the Paris carnage as well as the serial blasts in Turkey’s capital last month that left more than 100 dead.
“The world must speak in one voice and act in unison against terrorism, without any political considerations. There should be no distinction between terrorist groups or discrimination between states,” he said in a speech at the summit.
“We don’t have a comprehensive global strategy to combat terrorism. And, we tend to be selective in using the instruments that we have.”
The horrific attacks in Paris have dominated the discourse at the annual summit that traditionally focuses on economic issues, with leaders including US President Barack Obama vowing to step up efforts to eliminate Islamic State and prevent more attacks like those in the French capital.
“ISIS is the face of evil. Our goal is to destroy this barbaric organisation,” Obama said, though he ruled out sending ground troops to fight the terror group in Syria. “A strategy has to be one that can be sustained.”
Expressing concern about the “acute and growing flow of foreign terrorist fighters”, G20 leaders said they had agreed to boost border controls as well as aviation security and were committed to tackling terrorist financing.
“We will continue to implement relevant FATF (Financial Action Task Force) recommendations and instruments,” the statement said. “We call on FATF to identify measures, including pertaining to legal framework, to strengthen combating of terrorism financing and targeted financial sanctions and implementation thereof.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hailed the “resolute stance” against terror adoptedat the summit and urged leaders in the Muslim world to do more to break the perception that terrorism was affiliated with Islam
“G20 Leaders agreed to show our resolute stance in the fight against terrorism,” he said after the two-day event, adding that the “strong position” against terror was one of the most important outcomes of the summit. “Terrorism has no religion, ethnicity or nationality.”