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Obama vows to 'redouble' fight against IS

November 15, 2015

World leaders condemned the Paris attacks and urged joint anti-terrorism efforts at the G-20 summit in Turkey. At the same time, UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned against perpetuating "the cycle of hatred and violence."

G-20 group photo
Image: Getty Images/AFP/S. Loeb

The leaders of 20 most developed nations met in Antalya on Sunday for the begining of a two-day summit, with the usual economic and trade agenda pushed into the background by the recent Paris attacks.

Speaking at the summit, US President Barack Obama pledged to "redouble" US efforts to eliminate "Islamic State" (IS), the terror group that claimed responsibility for the massacre.

"We stand in solidarity with France in hunting down the perpetrators of this crime and bringing them to justice," Obama said.

In addition to the Paris killings, the IS group is also blamed for two deadly bombings in Turkey earlier this year.

"The killing of innocent people, based on a twisted ideology, is an attack not just on France, not just on Turkey, but it's an attack on the civilized world," Obama said after meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Terrorists of no nation

Turkey, the country hosting the summit this year, shares a 900-kilometer (560-mile) border with Syria, including portions held by "Islamic State." The country has also hosted more than 2 million refugees, thousands of whom each day try to make their way to Europe.

"We are confronted with collective terrorism activity around the world as terrorism does not recognize any religion, any race, any nation or any country," Erdogan said on Sunday.

Obama and Putin shake hands

US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin do not have a formal meeting planned, but White House officials have said the two leaders will have opportunities to talk on the sidelines of the summit.

The two leaders shook hands and exchanged few words during the taking of the G-20 class photo, the Russian Interfax agency reported. This was their first personal encounter since Russia launched its airstrikes in Syria, citing combat against "Islamic State."

"It's only possible to deal with the terror threat and help millions of people who lost their homes by combining efforts of the entire global community," Putin said earlier on Sunday.

Feeding the fire

UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, also present at the gathering of the world's leading rich and developing nations, said that the response to the Paris attacks should be "robust, but always within the rule of law."

The global readers should also take human rights into account, otherwise "we will only fan the fire we are trying to put out," Ban said.

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker echoed the sentiment, saying that the attacks should not "poison" the debate on the refugees entering the EU.

"Those who organized, who perpetrated the attacks are the very same people who the refugees are fleeing and not the opposite," Juncker said.

The G-20 summit is set to continue on Monday, with the leaders addressing the migration issue, according to a Reuters report citing a draft communiqué.

dj/sgb (Reuters, AP, dpa, AFP)