EU anti-terror chief wants more engagement with Gulf countries

EU anti-terror chief wants more engagement with Gulf countries

EU anti-terror chief wants more engagement with Gulf countries

BRUSSELS: EU Counter-terrorism Coordinator Gilles De Kerchove Saturday said the EU will have “much much more political engagement with the Gulf” on anti-terrorism cooperation.

Speaking at the Brussels’ Forum, an annual conference organized by the German Marshall Fund, he said the EU will also give more assistance to beef up the resilience of countries to face up to a common threat of terrorism. De Kerchove said he wants to be much more involved with internet companies to remove from the web illegal content. “It is a very tricky issue because we are divided on the scope of free speech in Europe,” he said. Addressing the topic ” countering the new wave of terrorism at home and abroad ” De Kerchove noted that there are between 4,000 and 5,000 European foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq.

“Distorted interpretation of Islam has an impact in Europe also,” he noted.

On his part, Volkan Bozkir, Turkish Minister for EU Affairs, criticsed the use of the terminology like Islamic State for ISIL or Islamic terrorism.

“It is not the correct thing to do because we are naming something in the wrong wording.and causing the rest the Islamic world to feel bad,” he said.

“We have to go to the source that creates terrorism. I think the source is mostly Europe where there are so many people who feel that they are alienated,” he said.

Bozkir called on Europe to become more inclusive and not close the doors to ethnic groups and to other religions but to give them hope for the future.

On Syria, Bozkir said aerial bombing will not be enough to deal with ISIL. “We need forces on the ground. For Iraq I think it will be the Iraqi army that can get rid of Daesh (or ISIL) remnants in Iraq. But in Syria it is a different case. We don’t have a state there. We have to train unconventional forces in Turkey and elsewhere and then send them to Syria. But we need a no-fly zone because the Syrian regime has a strong air force,” he noted.

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