Anti-jihadi summit gets under way in Sydney | News | DW | 11.06.2015
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Anti-jihadi summit gets under way in Sydney

A two-day summit on foreign fighters has begun in Sydney, Australia. Opening the conference, Prime Minister Tony Abbott warned representatives of 30 Asia-Pacific nations that the "Islamic State" had "global ambitions."

Abbott opened the regional anti-terrorism summit in Sydney Thursday by outlining strategies to fight terror groups and warning that the "Islamic State" (IS) posed a global threat.

"You can't negotiate with an entity like this, you can only fight it," Abbott said of the militia. "This is not terrorism for a local grievance, this is terrorism with global ambitions."

Ministers and representatives of 30 nations are taking part in the summit, as well as tech giants Facebook, Google and Twitter. The Australian prime minister stressed the necessity of finding ways to combat the ideology of extremist groups and their recruiting methods.

Topics on the summit agenda include working with social media and civil society groups as well as combating terrorist propaganda. The summit opens as the United States recently announced it is sending 450 additional military advisors to Iraq to help the Iraqi military combat IS.

"We need idealistic young people to appreciate that joining this death cult is an utterly misguided and wrongheaded way to express their desire to sacrifice," Abbott said. "How this is best done is, of course, the work of this conference."

According to government figures, more than 100 Australians are believed to have joined such groups in the Middle East, and at least 30 have been killed.

Australia is planning on introducing laws that would allow dual nationals to have their citizenship stripped if they were suspected of terrorism. A similar law under which Australians who are not dual nationals would lose their citizenship has met with resistance.

"The only really effective defense against terrorism is persuading people that it's pointless," Abbott said.

bw/bk (AP, AFP)

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