The UAE has announced its full support for the international efforts to combat the terrorism of the “Islamic State in Iraq and Levant”, ISIL, believing that such a war on terrorism will not lead to a marginalisation of Sunni Muslims, will not lead to a dismemberment of the components of the people of Iraq and will not lead to intervention by foreign powers with subversive agendas.
In a speech to the United Nations Security Council, UAE Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan added that the security of Iraq was an integral part of the security of the region as a whole.
The Security Council meeting, held at the level of ministers, was chaired by the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and was attended by the Foreign Minister of Iraq as well as by foreign ministers from 35 other countries.
Expressing his satisfaction at the holding of the meeting, Sheikh Abdullah said that it was being held at a critical time when there was a need for an urgent response and co-ordination of international efforts to tackle the danger presented by ISIL.
He added that the United Arab Emirates opposes those who attempt to disrupt the security and stability of Iraq. He emphasised the UAE’s support for international efforts to tackle ISIL terrorism, as previously noted in the statement at the recent NATO summit in Wales, in Arab League Resolution No. 7816, at the recent meeting in Jeddah in the presence of John Kerry, and at the Paris Conference on Security and Peace in Iraq.
“I would like to stress in this forum as an Arab and Muslim,” Sheikh Abdullah said, “that I categorically reject that the terrorist organisation ‘Da’ish’ – ISIL – should be described as ‘the Islamic State.’ He urged all parties to reject the use of this name, in line with the views of millions of Muslims who are firmly opposed to what he described as “the destruction being perpetuated by a terrorist and criminal gang. ” In the view of the UAE, Sheikh Abdullah said, a war against ISIL should lead neither to a marginalisation of the Sunni Muslims of Iraq, whom, he said, must play a key and vital role in the country’s political future, nor to the intervention of external forces with a subversive agenda because the security of Iraq is an integral part of the region’s security. It is important for all of us to ensure its political and territorial unity, he said.
He added that ISIL must also be prevented from creating safe havens for extremists in the region and that this must be achieved through swift and comprehensive international action, in full coordination and cooperation with the Iraqi government.
“Such action should lead to an overall comprehensive strategy for the danger posed by terrorism is not limited to that terrorist group (ISIL), but extends to cover the ongoing conflicts in Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, Egypt, Libya, North Africa and the African Sahel,” he said.
Sheikh Abdullah noted that terrorist groups also continue to exploit the state of anarchy in Syria to achieve their goals, paying no heed to sovereignty and national borders.
“The crimes by this group and other terrorist groups know no limits and are committed under opportunist pretexts which have no relevance to beliefs and norms. Terrorism normally grows in a fertile ground of sectarianism and extremism and presents itself as an alternative that attracts as many naive people as possible to reach its hideous goals,” he added.
The UAE Foreign Minister added that many countries were now concerned by the issue of fighters from elsewhere joining in the conflicts, because of their growing numbers and because the extremists are trying to establish safe havens in the areas of conflict, so that they can recruit fighters who can support their existence.
“This shows that we are facing a malicious phenomenon with a serious impact on communities and countries which are outside the Arab and Islamic worlds. It is, therefore, important that international solutions must be found to contain this danger, including weeding out the root causes of terrorism. Moreover, the international partnership to counter terrorism must be built with long term objectives, not only with the objective of confronting ISIL.” Sheikh Abdullah re-confirmed the UAE’s rejection of violence and extremism and its commitment to the values of tolerance and moderation. He also expressed the country’s readiness to work with international partners and all moderate forces to combat terrorism.
He also stressed the need to prevent any political stalemates in Iraq through the adoption of a true and comprehensive national programme that rejects violence and includes all the elements of the Iraqi people, without exclusion or favouritism.
The UAE was convinced, he said, that the Kurds had proved that they were worthy of a key role in the government of Iraq, praising their impressive resolution in confronting ISIL and expressing his hope that the Kurdistan region of Iraq will preserve its strength and stability and will continue to be an integral part of Iraq.
He reiterated the pledge that the UAE will support Iraq at all times, including support for its political process and for the efforts at reconciliation, as well as through its initiatives to provide humanitarian assistance to the people affected by violence and instability there.
Sheikh Abdullah concluded his statement by saying that the UAE welcomes the Security Council’s resolutions, particularly Resolution no. 2170 pertaining to the countering terrorism and its resources, including recruitment and finance.
He said it was important that the international community continues its role in providing full and constructive support to the Iraqi government.
The meeting was also attended by Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, the UAE’s Permanent Representative to the UN, and Major General Fares Al Mazrouei, Assistant Foreign Minister for Security and Military Affairs.