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LONDON – Delegates from more than 30 countries opened a meeting in Paris today to discuss the serious threat posed both regionally and globally by the Islamic State (IS/formerly ISIS).

“ISIS is a global threat and there has to be a global response,” said French President Francois Hollande.



IS gains in Iraq and Syria, its massacres against minorities like Iraq’s Yezidis and the group’s threat to export its war to the world has alarmed both Middle Eastern and Western leaders.


Hollande stressed on the importance of Iraq’s unity, as well as a united front internationally in dealing with the IS. 


“Iraq’s battle against terrorists is our battle, too,” Hollande said. “There are European and French nationals” fighting alongside IS in Iraq he added, referring to many citizens of Western countries fighting in what they call a “jihad.”


“ISIS is present in Syria and threatens the entire Middle East. They appeal for fighters globally,” said Hollande, who is co-chairing the Paris conference with Iraqi President Fuad Massoum.


The French president pointed out that Syria’s ongoing civil war has played into the hands of the IS.


The fight against IS shows “the common will to fight terrorism,” and the conference in Paris highlights solidarity with Iraq, he added.

“Iraq is facing the  biggest enemy” and “it is crucial that a coordinated response against this ideology and group is conducted immediately,” Massoum said at a press conference. 


He stressed that the conference was a means of strengthening partnerships and solidarity with Iraq.


France is a key European Union country that has shown readiness to participate in airstrikes against IS strongholds in Iraq, as well as financing the Lebanese army to maintain its sovereignty in the face of regional threats from Islamist militant groups. 


In the next few hours, Arab states are likely to pledge support financially or militarily for efforts to curb the IS in the region, including the “Islamic State” it has established. 


The Gulf Arab states are being urged to play a key role in the global mission to push back the militants





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