UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon urges Russia, US to cooperate on terrorism

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon attending the 10th East Asia Summit in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 22, 2015.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon attending the 10th East Asia Summit in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 22, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon urged Russia and the United States on Sunday (Nov 22) to cooperate in rooting out terrorism and said he would unveil a comprehensive plan to fight extremism and violence early next year.

"All these terrorists and ideology extremists should be defeated in the name of humanity," he said at the annual East Asia Summit, this year hosted by Malaysia.

"In that regard, we need to unite. We need to show global solidarity to address ... the common enemy of ISIL, Daesh, some other extremists and terrorist groups," he said, referring to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

US President Barack Obama said at the same summit the United States and its allies would not relent in the fight to combat ISIS extremists and would hunt down their leaders and cut off the group's financing. "Destroying (ISIS) is not only a realistic goal, we're going to get it done," he told a news conference after the summit. "We will destroy them. We will take back land they are currently in, take out their financing, hunt down leadership, dismantle their networks, supply lines and we will destroy them."

Mr Obama said it "would be helpful" if Russia directed its focus on tackling ISIS and he hoped Moscow would agree to a leadership transition in Syria that meant its president stepping down.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said countries with large populations of Muslims, including Russia, should unite to fight against ISIS. "We need a consolidated anti-terrorist position of those countries that have a large Islamic community, and incidentally Russia is one of these countries," Mr Medvedev said at the East Asia Summit.

Mr Medvedev said "it is now clear we can only fight this threat by bringing our forces together and by working through such international institutions as the United Nations".

The UN Secretary-General said he "highly commended the leadership of the Russian Federation together with the United States to address some of the roots causes of terrorism".

Mr Ban said the United Nations is now gathering ideas and experience from its member states. "Early next year, the UN is going to present a comprehensive plan of action to defeat violence and extremism."