Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken were among foreign ministers today stressing that a “comprehensive and collective effort remains necessary to achieve a full and enduring defeat of Daesh/ISIS worldwide”.
Following a virtual meeting, Global Coalition against Daesh ministers agreed a joint statement warning of the urgent Daesh threat, including its growing insurgency in parts of Africa.
The number of attacks Daesh claimed in Africa grew by more than a third between 2019 and 2020. Recent violence perpetrated by its affiliates has included attacks on aid workers in the Lake Chad Basin region, and the horrific beheading of civilians in Mozambique over recent months.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office is also looking closely at the terrible events ongoing in Mozambique, and is in close contact with the authorities on this.
Through strengthened cooperation across the Global Coalition, foreign ministers committed to ensuring that Daesh remains “unable to reconstitute any territorial enclave or continue to threaten our homelands, people, and interests”.
Reaffirming that allied governments “remain firmly united in our outrage at Daesh/ISIS’s atrocities and in our determination to eliminate this global threat,” ministers expressed specific concern at:
- increased terrorist activity in Iraq, including a recent double suicide attack in Baghdad
- a rise in Daesh activity in regime-held areas of Syria, where Daesh has been able to “rebuild its networks and capabilities to target security forces and civilians”
- a “serious and growing threat” from Daesh affiliates in West Africa and the Sahel, and an emerging threat in East Africa
Noting that these challenges have intensified during a period where COVID-19 has impacted Coalition operations, ministers welcomed the continued work of partner forces to mitigate the fallout of the pandemic, while providing continued support to dismantle Daesh.
One of the first multilateral meetings led by Secretary Blinken, the meeting was co-hosted with Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sophie Wilmès. Others attending included NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
Addressing his international counterparts, the Foreign Secretary emphasised the importance of ensuring that Daesh fighters face appropriate justice, and affirmed the UK’s continuing commitment to stabilising liberated areas of Iraq and Syria.
Following the meeting, the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said:
Two years on from the territorial defeat of Daesh and liberation of nearly eight million people from its cruel grip, we remain committed to preventing its resurgence.
The UK is supporting partner forces confronting Daesh in Iraq and Syria, stabilising liberated communities, building institutions so that terrorists face justice, and leading efforts against its twisted propaganda”.
The Global Coalition meeting comes shortly after the Foreign Secretary’s keynote speech to the Aspen Security Forum, at which he outlined the UK’s mission to be a “force for good in the world”. The importance of multilateralism in addressing shared security challenges was also described in the Government’s Integrated Review, which confirmed that Britain’s armed forces “will continue to contribute to the Global Coalition against Daesh in Iraq and Syria”.
The ministers acknowledged that while Daesh no longer controls territory and nearly 8 million people have been freed from its control in Iraq and Syria, the threat remains.