The following statement was released by Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud and United States Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and the Foreign Ministers of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh/ISIS following today’s meeting.
Foreign Ministers of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh/ISIS convened in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, today at the invitation of Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud and United States Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken. The Ministers welcomed the Republic of Togo as the newest member of the Coalition, bringing the total number of members to 86. Coalition partners confirmed their continued support for counterterrorism programming in Africa, Iraq, Syria, and South and Central Asia, demonstrating the Coalition’s wide reach and sustained commitment to diminishing ISIS’s capabilities.
Member states and international organizations continue to make unique contributions to the robust campaign to support stabilization efforts in areas liberated from Daesh/ISIS in Iraq and Syria and to counter Daesh/ISIS financing, travel, and propaganda. The Ministers confirmed their commitment to enhance the civilian-led counterterrorism capacities of Coalition members from Iraq to Africa, to South and Central Asia, emphasizing border and internal security, judicial reform, and intelligence and law enforcement information sharing via bilateral and multilateral platforms. Border security requires the preservation and sharing of battlefield evidence as appropriate with law enforcement, and the collection and sharing of terrorist and terrorist suspect biometrics via bilateral and multilateral platforms such as INTERPOL channels.
Ministers of the Coalition reconfirmed that the fight against Daesh/ISIS in Iraq and Syria remains the number one priority of the Coalition. They reiterated the importance of allocating adequate resources to sustain Coalition and legitimate partners. Additionally, ministers of the Coalition announced the launch of its Stabilization Pledge Drive, with a goal of raising $601 million for areas liberated from Daesh/ISIS in Iraq and Syria – toward which eight members have already announced pledges more than $300 million.
Regarding Iraq, the Ministers underscored the need to enhance civilian-led counterterrorism and counter terrorist financing capabilities in Iraq in the long term, along with stabilization efforts in areas liberated from Daesh/ISIS, and to support the Iraqi government and the Iraqi Security Forces, including the Kurdish Peshmerga. They lauded Iraq’s progress in repatriating its nationals from northeast Syria, and Iraqi efforts to implement sustainable long-term solutions, including appropriate legal procedures to ensure those guilty of crimes are held accountable and those victims of Daesh/ISIS seeking to reintegrate into communities of origin are able to do so.
Regarding Syria, the Coalition stands with the Syrian people in support of a lasting political settlement in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254. The Coalition continues to support stabilization in areas liberated from Daesh/ISIS and reconciliation and reintegration efforts to foster conditions conducive to a Syria-wide political resolution to the conflict.
The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of durable solutions for remaining populations in northeast Syria, including ensuring that Daesh/ISIS terrorists detained in Syria are housed securely and humanely, and improving the security conditions and humanitarian access for family members residing in al-Hol and Roj displaced persons camps. The Coalition will work with the international community to identify opportunities to best contribute to the continued basic needs for humanitarian aid, reintegration assistance for returnees, security measures, and stabilization for communities liberated from Daesh/ISIS throughout northeast Syria.
Regarding sub-Saharan Africa, the Ministers discussed the emergence of Daesh/ISIS affiliates which operate in West Africa, the Sahel, East Africa, and Central and southern Africa. The Ministers lauded the work of the Global Coalition’s Africa Focus Group, and highlighted the fact that it convened in Niamey, Niger in March 2023 – the first Coalition event in the sub-Saharan African region. The Ministers similarly endorsed the Africa Focus Group Action Plan, adopted in Niamey, that calls on members to cooperate in improving African member civilian-led counterterrorism and strategic communication capacities, as well as the imperative to counter malign, separatist, and non-state military actors which undercut counterterrorism cooperation and destabilize regional security.
Regarding the threat that ISIS-Khorasan poses in the region surrounding Afghanistan, as well as to the global community, the Ministers underscored the importance of the Coalition’s intensified focus and alignment of efforts to monitor ISIS-Khorasan and prevent its ability to raise funds, travel, and spread propaganda. Coalition members remain committed to ensuring Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists.
The Ministers welcomed the participation of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as observers in Riyadh and emphasized the need for Coalition members to increase engagement with Central Asia to enhance their respective counterterrorism capacities. The Ministers affirmed the Coalition’s commitment to the survivors and families of victims of Daesh/ISIS crimes that perpetrators must be held accountable. The atrocities carried out by Daesh/ISIS are an offense to humanity, and the Coalition remains united in its determination to prevent future generations from enduring the suffering created by Daesh/ISIS.
The Ministers recognized that extremism and terrorism, in all forms and manifestations, cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, or ethnic group, and noted the urgent need to vigorously counter such activities.
The Ministers agreed to update the current Guiding Principles of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS/Daesh, last endorsed by ministers in 2018, to reflect the growth of the Coalition in membership from different regions, priorities, and the work of its thematic working groups and geographic-based focus and standalone groups.
The responsibility and momentum of the international community against this shared adversary was evident today. The Global Coalition is the largest international coalition and remains intent on defeating Daesh/ISIS anywhere it operates.