By Neil Halligan
UAE ambassador to the US said a clear plan needed to thwart growing threat
The UAE ambassador to the United States has said the UAE is “ready to join a coordinated international response” to the fight against ISIL and the wider militant extremists in the region.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Yousef Al Otaiba said the international community needs to act now with a coordinated and sustained international effort to fight the radical extremists, or face the ramifications for decades to come.
“Islamic extremism has long been a Middle East problem but it is now the world's problem too. It is a transnational cancer that has already metastasised into sub-Saharan Africa,” he wrote.
Otaiba said an assessment of the enemy must first be carried out. While ISIL is the clear and obvious threat, he said it was not the only terrorist group in the region. He said those carrying a threat in the region include Al Nusra Front in Syria, Ansar al Shariah in Libya and Tunisia, Ansar Bayt al Maqdis in Egypt, AQAP in Yemen and AQIM in North Africa.
He said there needed to be a clear plan to repel the threat, including strengthening the forces on the ground that are already directly engaging with extremists.
Otaiba said the coalition must also tackle the radicalised fighters’ support networks.
“A successful campaign to defeat Islamist extremism in the long term must confront the transnational networks and organisations that breed and support hatred and violence in the name of religion,” he said.
He said more must be done to promote the true nature of Islam as a religion of peace.
“We must do more to promote the voices of compassion and respect over the shouts of hatred and fanaticism,” he wrote.