Jordan king says fighting extremism a shared responsibility

Amman: Jordan’s King Abdullah II today said fighting extremism was an “international responsibility”, two days after gun and bomb attacks killed at least 129 people in Paris.

“Terrorist groups… Threaten many countries in the region and beyond, which makes confronting extremism a shared regional and international responsibility,” he said as he opened a new session of parliament.

“However, this collective responsibility, in its essence, is our fight as Muslims against those who aim to turn our societies and future generations towards fanaticism and extremism,” he said.

The Islamic State jihadist group claimed Friday night’s attacks in the French capital.

Jordan — like France — is a member of the US-led coalition battling IS, which controls swathes of land in its neighbours Iraq and Syria.

“Jordan will continue to fight attempts to tarnish our true righteous religion because the fight against these forces of evil, darkness and terror is our fight, especially since we are the primary target of the enemies of Islam,” Abdullah said.

He also called for “a comprehensive political solution” to the Syrian conflict “based on the participation of every component of the Syrian society”.

Global diplomats meeting in Vienna yesterday agreed on a timeline for Syria that would see a transition government in six months and elections within 18 months.

A final statement after the meeting said the goal was to bring Syrian government and opposition representatives together by January 1.

Jordan says it has taken in 1.4 million Syrians fleeing the war since it broke out in 2011, but the UNHCR puts the figure at 600,000.

At least 250,000 people have died in more than four years of conflict in Syria.