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'No Other Option But to Defeat ISIL..' Iraqi Leader Tells UN

'No Other Option But to Defeat ISIL, All Terrorists, Everywhere,' Iraqi Leader Tells UN

President Mohammed Fuad Masum of Iraq addresses the General Assembly. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

26 September 2014 – While the Iraqi people were determined to defend their land of against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) – “an infamous group that has taken terror to a new era and a new level” – the country's President appealed to United Nations Member States today for support, protection and relief, so that Iraq may rid itself and the world of the grave danger ISIL posed.

In his first address to the General Assembly, Mohammed Fuad Masum said the success of political parties in Iraq on forming a Government of national unity “that represents Iraqi's of stripe” had been extremely important. All the people of the country now had a Government they believed in and which they would support as it faced – ISIL – the latest threat to the region and the world.

With its huge financial and military assets, ISIL has committed crimes against humanity, inflicted suffering on Iraqi people and had become a “hotbed”, attracting militants and extremists from around the world, including America and Europe.

His Government had successfully liberated some cities that been occupied by the terrorist organization, owing to the huge humanitarian and military support received from the UN, United States, the European Union and other friendly States, and for which he was grateful. “Such support confirms that Iraq is not fighting terror alone,” he said.

Mr. Masum drew attention to the millions of defenceless civilians forced to live under the tyranny of ISIS, and called on the international community to provide protection, relief and support for his country's efforts. The Iraqi people are determined to rid their land of the armed group, he said, stressing that eliminating terror in their country would be an important step in ridding the world of danger.

Pained to see the suffering of fraternal Palestinian people in Gaza and other Palestinian territories, he also called upon the international community to honour its commitment to the Palestinian people and exert efforts to restore peace.

Further, Mr. Masum said he wished those in Yemen and Libya success on their path to democracy and voiced hope that the Syrian people would be able to overcome this crisis, unite to end bloodshed and preserve life and democracy. Continued tension would always support extremism and tyrannical ideology. As such, the international community could not allow an exacerbation of that conflict.

Turning to the results of the Assembly's Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, he said the question of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations did not occupy the space it deserved in the report.

Indeed, Mr. Masum continued, the goals could have addressed the challenge as its own objective, looking to its causes and ways to address it. Recalling that people around the world are still promoting partnership and enhancing prospects for peace and security, he said there is no other option but to defeat ISIL everywhere, as well as other elements that continued to threaten the international community.


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