‘Anti-Daesh coalition needs unity of purpose’

Mohamed Abdel-Ghaffar and Meltem Bulur

KUWAIT CITY: A ministerial meeting for a U.S.-led coalition against the Daesh terrorist group kicked off Tuesday in Kuwait.

Addressing the opening session of the meeting, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sabah al-Khalid al-Hamad al-Sabah said Daesh’s collapse reflects commitment of the coalition member-states to fight terrorism.

“The international community still faces a direct thr-eat by armed groups, which requires opening up new prospects in the international coalition,” he told participants in the one-day meeting.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, for his part, cited that the international coalition has dismantled Daesh from nearly 98 percent of Syrian and Iraqi territories it had seized.

He said Daesh still poses a threat to the region despite being expelled from Iraq, calling for rallying efforts to prevent the return of the terrorist group to Iraq and Syria.

Tillerson also vowed to allocate $200 million to support coalition’s efforts against Daesh in Syria.

To combat the terrorist group Daesh, the coalition needs common action and a unity of purpose, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Tuesday during a meeting of the U.S.-led coalition.

According to a diplomatic source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media, Mevlut Cavusoglu gave a speech at a closed-door ministerial meeting of the U.S.-led coalition against Daesh in Kuwait.

In his speech, Cavusoglu said that unilateral steps such as a planned U.S. border security force are contrary to the spirit of the coalition.

Cavusoglu stressed that Turkey contributed to the fight against Daesh with its Operation Euphrates Shield and current Operation Olive Branch, adding that Turkey does not expect gratitude but understanding of its legitimate security concerns instead of unfounded criticisms.

He reiterated Turkey’s expectations from the international community in its fight against terrorist groups such as Daesh and the PYD/PKK — both targets of Turkey’s current counter-terrorist Operation Olive Branch across the Turkish border in Afrin, Syria. (AA)