WASHINGTON – The United States wrapped up talks with some 60 other countries Thursday on how to counter the Islamic State group and other violent groups, stressing in a statement the need for enhanced information-sharing to stem the spread of extremism, especially among the young.
The statement was released after a ministerial meeting that took place at the end of the three-day Summit to Counter Violent Extremism hosted by the U.S.
The participants “underscored their commitment to countering violent extremism in all of its forms and manifestations that lead to terrorism, as well as addressing the drivers of this extremism,” the statement said.
The term “violent extremism,” like “terrorism,” should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group, it said.
The statement also pointed to the need to promote information-sharing “on the drivers of violent extremism in all of its forms” and strengthen the role of civil society, in particular young people and women, in countering and preventing violent extremism.
Addressing the ministerial meeting, U.S. President Barack Obama sought unity among as many countries as possible to fight the Islamic State group and other violent organizations and to elevate online voices calling for peace as a way to counter the spread of extremist ideologies.
“We must remain unwavering in our fight against terrorism,” Obama told the participants, which included representatives from Japan, China, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
He said that a series of violent incidents by groups including Islamic State have nothing to do with Islam and rejected any attempt to give them religious legitimacy.
“The notion that the West is at war with Islam is an ugly lie,” Obama said. “We have to confront the warped ideologies espoused by terrorists.”
Japan pledged a $15.5 million package aimed at helping build counterterrorism capacity in the Middle East and Africa.
Senior Vice Foreign Minister Yasuhide Nakayama told the session, “Japan will expand humanitarian assistance for the moderate countries in the Middle East that are on the front line of the battle against violent extremism and terrorism.”
Nakayama attended the ministerial meeting after the killings of Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa by Islamic State militants.
Nakayama was in Jordan as head of the Japanese task force during the hostage crisis.
The White House hosted the event in the wake of violent attacks in recent months including in Canada, Australia, France and Denmark, in addition to a series of hostage killings by Islamic State militants.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.