Press release: Foreign Secretary hosts counter ISIL meeting in London

Speaking today Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said:
Good afternoon, the recent terrible events in Paris have reminded us that the battle against ISIL is not confined within the borders of Iraq and Syria and that this poisonous ideology threatens our own citizens and the citizens of our allies. Today 21 key members of the global coalition met in London to review and discuss our efforts to degrade and defeat ISIL, not just through military force but by addressing the underlying narrative of the organisation, its financing, its flow of foreign fighters and by reasserting our commitment to Iraq. In total over 60 countries have signed up to the global coalition showing the international will and commitment to combat this threat. On the military track coalition airstrikes have helped to halt ISIL’s advance and we’ve had an update today from General Allen on the work to rebuild, re-equip and retrain the Iraqi security forces allowing them in due course to push ISIL back and reassert Iraqi sovereignty over all the territory of Iraq. Beyond our military action we reviewed how we are doing in our efforts against ISIL’s finances and in countering their twisted narrative, how effectively we are delivering our efforts against the flow of foreign fighters arriving to fight in their ranks and in each case we talked about what more we could do together to achieve our objectives in these areas. We reviewed too how we can offer support to those who are most affected by the humanitarian crisis that the rise of ISIL in Iraq and Syria has brought about across the region. Today’s meeting confirmed the determination of our broad and united coalition to defeat not only ISIL but also the ideology that underlies it and not just in Iraq and Syria but wherever it rears its head.

We recognise that political progress in both Iraq and Syria will be vital in ultimately defeating ISIL in those countries and Prime Minister Abadi updated the meeting on progress to date and the significant challenges remaining. We congratulated him on the progress that has been made in Iraq in the hundred or so days since he formed his government and reaffirmed our support for what he is doing. Most importantly we all confirmed our commitment to the struggle however long it takes and where ever it leads us to defeating the scourge of violent Islamist extremism, thank you.

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