US Secretary of State John Kerry headed for London late on Wednesday to co-host talks on the fight against Islamic militants, insisting a 60-plus coalition of nations was determined to win the battle.
“Terrorists want to drive us apart, but in fact their actions have had the opposite effect, they`re bringing us together,” Kerry told reporters, ahead of his departure.
He and British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond will meet with a small number of the countries that have joined the US-led coalition since September, aiming to drive the Islamic State (IS) group out of its footholds in Iraq and Syria.
The coalition had “greater determination, greater resolve to be able to get the job done,” Kerry said after talks in Washington with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.
Foreign fighters would be a particular focus of the London meeting in the wake of the attacks in Paris earlier this month, a State Department official told reporters on a conference call.
“Part of the discussion tomorrow is about really abating the flow” of foreign fighters, the official said, adding “huge numbers” had been killed in Syria and Iraq which was helping to dissuade people from trekking from Europe to join the battlefields.
“We need to move ahead on every single front militarily, but also through law enforcement, through intelligence sharing, by attacking the root causes so that terrorist appeals fall flat and foreign recruits are no longer enticed to go to a place and wreak havoc on it,” Kerry said.
Mogherini, who will also join the London talks, said it was “not a fight between the West and Islam.”
It was, she said, more of a coming together of “a partnership that unites us all against a phenomenon that is brutally devastating societies all over starting with the Arab countries.”