Defeat of IS remains top priority for Coalition – Ministers

WASHINGTON, The Ministers of the Global Coalition to Defeat the so-called Islamic State (IS) reiterated Wednesday their commitment to the Coalition’s Guiding Principles adopted in Kuwait in 2018.

They acknowledged in a statement the Coalition’s role in severing terrorist group’s trans-regional efforts and “thwarting its global ambitions as confirmed by its members.” “Ensuring the enduring defeat of the IS in the Core will remain a priority for the Coalition’s collective effort as the threat remains high and to avoid any prospect of the IS’s territorial resurgence in the areas it once controlled,” according to the statement. The ministers welcomed the “progress” made in the past year in liberating the territory controlled by IS that once spanned Iraq and Syria, saying “in doing so, we have degraded the IS’s leadership, and its access to resources and global networks.” “The territorial defeat of the IS in Iraq and Syria will mark a significant milestone in the war against the IS, but does not mean our campaign against the IS is over. Further engagement is needed in Iraq and Syria, where the terrorist group is still resilient,” the statement stressed. The Ministers welcomed Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Alhakim as the senior-most representative of the new Iraqi government, headed by Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi.

They “reaffirm our unwavering support to Iraq and its unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity,” the statement said.

Furthermore, they invited the Government of Iraq “to take necessary steps to facilitate the realization of the international commitments made during the February 2018 reconstruction conference in Kuwait.” “We are committed to working with the Government of Iraq to continue denying the IS sanctuary, preventing the IS from dispersing its fighters, weapons, or resources and targeting the IS facilitation networks,” it went on.

On Syria, the statement affirmed that the Coalition “stands with the Syrian people in support of a genuine political transition based on the 2012 Geneva Communique and UN Security Council Resolution 2254, aimed at establishing an inclusive, non-sectarian government that represents the will of all Syrians, and upholding the unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Syria.” “Where possible, we support inclusive local recovery and stabilization in areas liberated from IS and community-based dialogue and reconciliation efforts to foster conditions conducive to a Syria-wide political resolution to the Syria conflict.

“We are also committed to addressing the security and legal issues posed by detained IS foreign terrorist fighters and ensuring that they never again return to the battlefield or relocate elsewhere to conduct attacks, recruit, train, or otherwise perpetuate IS’s ideology,” the statement stressed.

“Appropriate measures should be undertaken so that the IS fighters and supporters are held accountable for their support or participation in the IS’s terrorist campaign in accordance with applicable rules of international law.

“In aid of this effort, we will consider sharing fighter information and battlefield evidence more readily between Coalition partners either on a bilateral basis, or when possible, through global networks such as INTERPOL.

“We are gratified by the momentum collectively generated by the Coalition and its partners and once again express our determination to deliver the IS an enduring defeat,” the statement added.

“Our joint engagement in Iraq and Syria will continue,” it concluded.

Source: Kuwait News Agency