Global coalition agrees on steps to combat Daesh

Fight against terrorism/Daesh/Iraq/meeting between M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, and Mr Haider al-Abadi, Prime Minister of Iraq – Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic

Paris, 2 June 2015

The French President had a meeting with Mr Haider al-Abadi, the Iraqi Prime Minister, who had come to Paris for the second Ministerial Meeting of the Small Group of the Global Coalition to counter Daesh [ISIL].

The Head of State welcomed the holding of this meeting, during which the coalition members confirmed their commitment to fighting Daesh alongside the Iraqi people, government and security forces. He also encouraged the Iraqi government to implement the reforms which are essential for national reconciliation in Iraq. Finally, he lent his support to Mr Haider al-Abadi in achieving this and paid tribute to the Iraqi forces, which are bravely fighting Daesh./.

Fight against terrorism/Daesh/Iraq/Syria – Ministerial Meeting of the Small Group of the Global Coalition to counter Daesh – Press conference given by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development (excerpts)

Paris, 2 June 2015

Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for being here. Along with the Iraqi Prime Minister and the representative of the United States of America, Mr Blinken – in the absence of our friend John Kerry –, I’m going to quickly review the work we’ve done this morning and over lunch. (…)

First of all, to explain this meeting: as you know, the Global Coalition to counter Daesh [ISIL], which brings together more than 60 countries, is deeply committed in Iraq, and it’s just come together in the so-called Small Group format – although it’s still 25 countries – with the United Nations and the European Union, to coordinate at political level our strategy for combating Daesh. We had to meet to ensure the coalition gets regular follow-up, but it was all the more necessary because a number of events have made this meeting particularly essential.

Over the past nine months, progress has been made on driving back the terrorist group Daesh, particularly in Saladin and Diyala Provinces in Iraq but also in Syria. At the same time – and we all acknowledged this clearly this morning –, there have been new Daesh offensives, and it was all the more necessary to take stock.

I co-chaired this meeting with the Iraqi Prime Minister and the Deputy Secretary of State, Mr Tony Blinken; we spoke on the telephone to our friend John Kerry. (…)

I refer you to the declaration of the co-chairs, which has been published following our discussions, but I’ll pick up on three or four points we talked about, before handing over to the Prime Minister and then Antony Blinken.

The first thing that strikes me is that our discussions provided us with an opportunity to reaffirm our unity and our shared determination to combat the Daesh terrorists, who I often say are religious fakes and genuine criminals. At the same time, we emphasized that this is a long-term battle. There’s progress, there may be setbacks, but we must be aware that it’s a long-term battle. We thought about the fundamentals of our strategy, which, in Iraq, consists in supporting the Iraqi forces through airstrikes, and providing equipment and training to enable the Iraqi government to regain the room for manoeuvre necessary for victory against Daesh.

The effort, as the Prime Minister told us, will be concentrated in particular on Anbar Province: recapturing Ramadi and other targets too. The Iraqi government has announced a plan to bring together tribal security forces in Anbar Province with this goal; the plan has the coalition’s support.

The second thing that struck me is that this military strategy can’t be dissociated from the implementation of the policy of reconciliation in Iraq: the things are linked, there’s not a military side and a political side. Our meeting this morning enabled me to confirm the commitment necessary from the Iraqi government to fully implement the reform programme announced, in order to address the aspirations and expectations of all Iraqis and bring them together in the fight against Daesh.

The third thing that struck me – and we talked about it, too, this morning – is that Iraq can’t be completely stabilized unless there’s a political transition in Syria, because the borders have now been destroyed and we know that Daesh is acting on both sides of the border. Daesh is a mobile group that ignores borders, and so the real headlong rush into chaos taking place in Syria has a direct impact on the effectiveness of action in Iraq.

Just recently in Palmyra, the Syrian regime showed once again that it had neither the capabilities nor any real desire to protect its territory against the terrorist push. That’s why, only this morning, we reiterated our determination to work for a political transition in Syria based on the Geneva Communiqué, which is absolutely essential.

Finally, the last point: I’d like to point out that the coalition has now decided to include a goal of protecting persecuted communities and endangered heritage. We spoke to Ms Bokova and Mr Guterres, who set out the situation and their proposals. Encouraging the return of displaced people was one of the goals I set, on France’s behalf, at the Security Council meeting in March; it’s now a full part of the coalition strategy.

It’s difficult – you explained to us why it’s difficult – but it’s absolutely crucial, and France intends to organize a high-level conference in the autumn on the issue of persecuted communities.

That, in a few words, is what I wanted to say about the concrete results of this meeting, which enabled us, in a clear-sighted way, to mobilize the coalition and its partners on the basis of a shared political-military vision.

We must now implement those goals without delay, in this essential battle against Daesh, which will be a long-drawn-out battle, but we’ve shown this morning that our determination is total. (…)./.

Fight against terrorism/Ministerial Meeting of the Small Group of the Global Coalition to counter Daesh – Declaration of the Co-Chairs¹

Paris, 2 June 2015

1. The Small Group of the Global Coalition to counter Daesh met today in Paris at the invitation of French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Laurent Fabius, for in-depth discussions on the situation in Iraq and Syria, Coalition operations, the stabilization of liberated areas, the safe and enduring return of refugees and displaced persons, notably victims of ethnic and religious violence, and the protection of cultural heritage.

2. The meeting was co-chaired by French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Laurent Fabius, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and US Secretary of State John Kerry – remotely from the US and represented in Paris by Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Twenty-four delegations took part in the meeting (Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, EU, France, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, the UAE, the UK, the UN (as observer), the US).

3. Daesh offensives in Ramadi, Iraq, and Palmyra, Syria, highlight the urgency to renew and expand our collective endeavour to defeat Daesh. Coalition partners reaffirmed their strong unity and their commitment to work together under a common, multifaceted, and long term strategy to degrade and ultimately defeat Daesh, a threat to the entire international community. They reiterated the global condemnation of Daesh’s sectarian strategy of murder and destruction, of its atrocities and crimes, some of which may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, and of its deliberate destruction of humanity’s common heritage. They paid tribute to the victims of Daesh violence, in particular in Iraq and Syria, and to the members of the security forces of Iraq who are fighting on the frontline against the terrorists, and acknowledged the commitment of the international personnel of the Coalition assisting them with equipment, training, and air support. They stressed their continued resolve to remove Daesh from the regions in which it established itself in Iraq and Syria, and commended the dedication and actions of the Coalition’s working groups to this end.

4. Coalition members reiterated the critical importance of pushing forward rapidly reforms and reconciliation under the Iraqi government’s national programme, including the development of a national guard force to bring all armed groups under state control, and the urgent need to find a political solution to the Syrian conflict to address the root causes of Daesh expansion. They also stressed the need to sustainably defeat Daesh beyond the ongoing military campaign, through the disruption of the flow of foreign terrorist fighters, the disruption of Daesh’s access to financing and funding, countering Daesh’s criminal ideology, and addressing associated humanitarian crises.

5. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi confirmed the commitment of the Iraqi authorities to the strengthening of the rule of law, the respect of human rights for all, a policy of inclusiveness, ensuring that all components of the Iraqi society are represented in a fair manner within the federal institutions and all citizens are treated equally, without discrimination. He outlined the urgent response plan for the liberation of Anbar Province as approved unanimously on 18 May by Iraq’s Council of Ministers. The key elements of this plan include the following five steps: 1) Accelerating support to the tribal fighters of Anbar Province, including their recruitment, equipping, and training, to fight alongside Iraqi forces against Daesh; 2) Recruiting into the Iraqi army divisions, particularly those divisions based in Anbar Province that have been depleted from over 18 months of fighting; 3) Recalling and restructuring the Anbar police force to hold territory liberated from Daesh; 4) Calling for international contributions to the UNDP-endorsed funding mechanism to facilitate immediate stabilization of areas cleared of Daesh; and 5) ensuring that all forces participating in the liberation of Anbar Province operate under the command and control of the Prime Minister and Iraq’s chain of command. Coalition ministers affirmed their strong support for this response plan, and agreed to accelerate their efforts in each of the five areas. They also expressed unanimous support for the government of Iraq’s efforts to mobilize and equip tribal fighters in Anbar Province and agreed to support these efforts through the Iraqi government. Finally, they pledged full support to the government and people of Iraq in the implementation of policies and concrete measures to address Iraqi citizens’ legitimate grievances and to promote national reconciliation, based on the provisions of the Iraqi constitution and the programme of government agreed by the government of Iraq in September 2014.

6. Coalition partners noted the continued deterioration of the situation in Syria and the inability and unwillingness of the Assad regime to fight Daesh. They reiterated their pledge to preserve Syria’s unity and sovereignty and called for the speedy launch of a UN-facilitated genuine and inclusive political process in order to implement the principles of the Geneva Communiqué – including the establishment, by mutual consent, of a transitional governing body with full executive powers. They affirmed that only a political transition will create the necessary conditions to reverse the tide of extremism and radicalism generated by the regime’s abuses, and confront all terrorist organisations in Syria, including Daesh, efficiently.

7. Coalition partners stressed that the fight against Daesh in Syria and Iraq remained their key priority, but noted that Daesh tried to expand its reach to other areas affected by political crisis and instability, such as Libya. Although many “affiliations” to Daesh are mainly symbolic, Coalition partners reaffirmed the need for the international community to support processes to address local causes of political crisis and instability, and to defeat this terrorist group, and its vicious ideology, wherever it appeared.

8. Coalition partners recognized the role played by the United Nations in the region to support political processes, coordinate and facilitate international humanitarian assistance, help refugees and internally displaced persons, and protect cultural heritage. They expressed their support to UNHCR operations to provide assistance and protection to refugees and displaced persons, through its Response Plan (Situation Emergency Response Appeal), including activities aimed at identifying and assisting voluntary returns when feasible. They agreed to take into account the specific need to protect threatened populations such as people belonging to ethnic or religious communities, in particular by creating the conditions for the safe, voluntary and enduring return of refugees and displaced persons. In this regard, Coalition partners welcomed the prospect of a high-level meeting in Paris to present a charter of action as a follow up to the public debate of the Security Council on the victims of ethnic and religious attacks in the Middle East that took place on 27 March 2015. They also welcomed the establishment of the Funding Facility for Immediate Stabilization to ensure resources flow immediately to areas cleared of Daesh, and initial contributions from partners.

9. Coalition partners expressed their support for the UNESCO action plans for the safeguard of the cultural heritage in Syria and Iraq, the UNESCO resolution on culture in conflict areas, the #United4Heritage campaign, and the implementation of UNSC Resolution 2199 in the field of UNESCO competences.

10. Coalition partners of the Small Group will remain fully mobilized in the coming months in the fight against Daesh. They will report to the members of the entire Coalition on their efforts and make sure that the lines of effort the Coalition is pursuing against this terrorist organization are being advanced by the Coalition’s five working groups and followed up on in the framework of the United Nations, of regional organizations, by other bodies established to fight terrorism, and by all States concerned.

11. Coalition partners of the Small Group expressed their intent to meet at the head of state and government level with all members of the Coalition on the margins of the UN General Assembly in September./.

Haider al-Abadi, Prime Minister of Iraq - Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France – John Kerry, Secretary of State of the United States of America.

¹Source of English text: French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development.

Published on 29/06/2015

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