We won't be cowed by barbaric murderers
15:30, — Politics
Obama and Cameron co-authored a powerful op-ed in The Times Of London.
They have called on NATO to reject “isolationist” impulses and confront the rising terrorist threat posed by Sunni militants in the Middle East, saying the United States and Britain “will not be cowed by barbaric killers”, The Times informed.
“We will not waver in our determination to confront” the militant group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, the two leaders wrote in a joint opinion piece published in Thursday’s editions of The Times of London. “If terrorists think we will weaken in the face of their threats they could not be more wrong.”
Their pointed words came as leaders gathered in Wales for a NATO summit meeting that was originally intended to focus on responding to Russia’s escalating military intervention in Ukraine, but the sidelines of the meeting will be dominated by American and British efforts to assemble and lead an international coalition against ISIS.
“The international community as a whole has an obligation to stop the Islamic State from advancing further,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the NATO secretary general, said at a news conference on Thursday. But he noted that there had been no request from Iraq for NATO assistance in confronting the group.
Mr. Obama and the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and Italy will meet with President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine to discuss the crisis in his country, which will also be the topic of an afternoon meeting where allies will consider sending additional assistance to Kiev.
Before they met, Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, warned that Ukraine’s efforts to form an alliance with NATO threatened to short-circuit talks to end the fighting between pro-Russian separatists and government forces in eastern Ukraine.
Mr. Lavrov, in televised remarks in Moscow, said that discussions between top Ukrainian officials and NATO leaders are “a blatant attempt to derail all the efforts” to reach a negotiated settlement in Ukraine, the Associated Press reported.
NATO leaders will also discuss winding down the alliance’s combat mission in Afghanistan at the end of the year and shifting it to a training and assistance mission, although details of the transition cannot be finalized until Afghans resolve a disputed presidential election.
In their joint editorial, Mr. Obama and Mr. Cameron argued that ISIS is as immediate a threat to the security of NATO members as is the behavior of Russia, which they wrote had “ripped up the rule book” by annexing Crimea and sending its troops into Ukraine. Russia has denied any military involvement in Ukraine.
“Whether it is regional aggression going unchecked or the prospect that foreign fighters could return from Iraq and Syria to pose a threat in our countries, the problems we face today threaten the security of British and American people, and the wider world,” they wrote.
Mr. Obama and Mr. Cameron argued that NATO must transition to a “more effective security network that fosters stability around the world,” urging member nations to bolster military spending.
They also called for keeping a “persistent” NATO defensive presence in Eastern Europe to make clear to Russia that the alliance is serious about the defense of all of its members, and expressed support for a rapid-response force — expected to be endorsed by NATO allies this week — including land, air, maritime and special forces “that could deploy anywhere in the world at very short notice.”
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