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Arab ministers vow to expand counter-terrorism fight

Posted on Mar 13 2014 | IANS

Marrakech, March 13 : Arab interior ministers have vowed to broaden the fight against extremism and terrorist groups in the region.

In a statement released late Wednesday at the end of the two-day 31st Session of the Arab Interior Ministers Council, the ministers expressed "full support for Arab states who decide to protect their security and stability when facing terrorism".

They agreed to work together to address the causes of terrorism and uproot them.

According to the statement, the Arab representatives condemned terrorism regardless of the motives and tactics behind it, as well as sectarian discourse which "fuels terror and instigates sedition and hatred".

Condemning the terrorist acts that have recently taken place in several Arab states, the 22-member council said those who support or finance terror groups and promote their ideas should be denounced.

The group also emphasised that they would refrain from paying ransom to hostage-takers and cave in to terrorist blackmailing or intimidation. The statement urged member states to abide by relevant UN Security Council resolutions that prohibit paying ransom to groups considered to be terrorists.

Many Arab governments say that they were facing continual threats from terrorist groups throughout the region. Iraq hosted a two-day counter-terrorism conference in Baghdad Wednesday, where Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki urged the world community to cooperate and crush international terrorism.

Other Arab countries, such as Egypt and Bahrain, have voiced their concerns about terrorism, especially the recent attacks against security personnel in both the countries, which have witnessed an upsurge of attacks and political instability after mass demonstrations calling for political reforms.

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