Japan′s Abe gives millions for Middle East to fight Islamic State terrorists | News | DW | 17.01.2015
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Japan's Abe gives millions for Middle East to fight Islamic State terrorists

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the world will suffer if terrorism spreads in the Middle East. The leader has pledged millions of dollars in non-military assistance to countries fighting Islamic State.

Japan's leader warned Saturday there would be "immeasurable loss" if terrorism were to spread in the Middle East.

During a speech in Cairo, Abe promised $2.5 billion (2.16 billion euros) in non-military assistance. In addition, he pledged a further $200 million in non-military assistance to states affected by the 'Islamic State' (IS) group's expansion into Iraq and Syria, which has triggered an exodus of refugees to neighboring countries.

"I will pledge assistance of a total of about $200 million dollars for those countries contending with IS, to help build their human capacities, infrastructure, and so on," Abe added.

A Japanese foreign ministry official told the AFP news agency that most of the funds would go to helping neighboring states host displaced people.

Over 200,000 people have been killed in Syria and half of the country's population has become displaced since the spread of violence perpetrated by IS, which rapidly took coontrol of vast swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq in the summer.

At the end of last year the United Nations said it had requested $2.28 billion in 2014 to help the people of Syria, but received only 46 percent of the funds they requested.

The UN warns the number of Syrian refugees could increase from 3 million to 4.27 million by the end of this year.

"Should we leave terrorism or weapons of mass destruction to spread in this region, the loss imparted upon the international community would be immeasurable," Abe stated at a meeting of the Japan-Egypt Business Committee.

Threats from militant Islamists have grown outside the Middle East in the past week after gunmen killed 17 people across three days of violence in Paris. The attacks, which began on January 7, started with the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo being attacked after the publication printed pictures of the Prophet Muhammad.

jlw/sb (Reuters, AFP)

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