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Britain pushes UN resolution against ransom payments to extremists

Published on Dec 4, 2013 6:14 AM

UNITED NATIONS (REUTERS) - Britain submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council on Tuesday that calls on countries to prevent the payment of kidnap ransoms to extremist groups, like Al-Qaeda, which have earned hundreds of millions of dollars from such crimes. 

British UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said he hoped the 15-member council would be able to adopt the resolution by the end of the month. No new legal obligations would be created, he said, as states were already required not to pay kidnap ransoms under an anti-terrorism resolution adopted in 2001.

"There is increasing concern about the amount of money that is being raised by terrorists through kidnap for ransom and it has been particularly a tool of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and also Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula," Lyall Grant said.

"We want this resolution ... to show that the international community should not be paying ransoms for kidnap that can be used for terrorist purposes," he told Reuters.

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