Kerry meets Saudi Foreign Minister, discusses terror attacks

Washington: US Secretary of State John Kerry has held an impromptu meeting with Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, during which the two leaders discussed terror attacks in that country and challenges being posed by ‘Daesh’.

“The two discussed the need to combat and defeat Daesh, including in Syria, where the Kingdom has offered to commit troops to the counter-Daesh campaign,” State Department Spokesman John Kirby said yesterday.

Kerry and his Saudi counterpart also discussed the need for a political transition in Syria, the situation in Libya, the effort to reach a political resolution in Yemen, and recent developments between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Earlier in the day the State Department “strongly” condemned the recent spate of deadly terrorist attacks that have been focused on civilians, including women and children, and which have brutally taken hundreds of lives from Istanbul to Dhaka to Baghdad to the attacks in Saudi Arabia.

“These acts have shown no respect for human life, whether young or old, male or female, Muslim or non-Muslim. These terrorists murdered without discretion,” Kirby said.

“We cannot say whether these attacks were coordinated or whether they were conducted by independent opportunists,” he added.

Noting that a Daesh spokesman himself called for targeting during this very holy month, he said this is obviously evident that Daesh certainly has no respect for Muslim life, life in general, or any respect for Islam itself.

“Now, even as we continue to pressure Daesh in Iraq and Syria, we remain extremely concerned about their ability to inspire terrorist attacks that require few resources with little to no coordination,” he said.

The US, he said, has always made clear that the military campaign is not enough to defeat Daesh or to remove the threat that it poses; that a holistic campaign that addresses the root causes of extremism is the only way to deliver a sustainable defeat.
“That’s why we’re working with partners from around the

world to cut off Daesh’s messaging, financing, and recruitment networks,” he said.

“That’s why we work with partners to expand the global ability to identify, disrupt, arrest, and prosecute suspected foreign terrorist fighters. And it’s why we’ve identified concrete areas to increase partner capacity in disrupting, arresting, and prosecuting suspected foreign terrorist fighters and better information sharing on their networks,” Kirby said.

Kirby said the US now has information-sharing agreements with 55 international partners to identify and track the travel of suspected terrorists, and the number of countries contributing foreign terrorist fighter profiles to Interpol has now increased by some 400 percent over the last two years alone.

“We’re partnering with governments in areas including strengthening information sharing on known and suspected terrorists, implementing or enhancing counter-terrorism legislation, increasing effective traveller screening, and strengthening border security, as well as building comprehensive financial investigations,” he said.