KOTA KINABALU, MALAYSIA – Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations condemned the violence perpetrated by militants in Iraq and Syria, including the seizure of two Japanese hostages and the apparent execution of one of them.
“We denounce all unlawful acts of destruction, violence and terror in all its forms and manifestations, including the apparent barbaric murder of a Japanese hostage and continued detainment of another,” the ministers said in a statement Wednesday following a two-day retreat in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.
The statement said the ministers “underline the need to bring all perpetrators of the reprehensible acts to justice and call for the release of all hostages.”
The ministers also expressed “support for and solidarity with” the Japanese government.
Without referring to the Islamic State group by name, the statement says the ministers “condemn and deplore the violence and brutality committed by extremist organizations and radical groups in Iraq and Syria, whose impact increasingly poses a threat to all regions of the world.”
Singapore Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam told reporters regarding the kidnapping of the Japanese: “The world has condemned it, the U.N. Security Council has condemned it and ASEAN has also condemned it.
“We need to put up a strong united stand and at the same time in our respective countries make sure that the policies are right, the economic opportunities are equally shared and make sure that we have a fair system for people of all ethnic groups to prosper,” he said.
An Indonesian official added: “We need to voice our view as this is not the teaching of Islam.”
Three of the 10 ASEAN countries are predominantly Muslim: Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.
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