26.02. 2015 Defeating IS crucial for Europe's security

February 12, 2015

The reinstatement of peace and security in Syria and Iraq following the terrorism and violence perpetuated by the Islamic State (IS) is a top priority for EPP Group MEPs who stressed during today’s plenary debate that immediate humanitarian assistance and protection need to be an integral part of long-term strategies to end the conflict.

Leading the debate, EPP Group MEP Elmar Brok, Chairman of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, called for the active cooperation of neighbouring Arab states which is necessary to defeat IS: "We are confronted with an unusual large group of terrorists that are not willing to negotiate and are continuously expanding their terror against everyone. This situation cannot be solved by the 16 coalition partners alone. The neighbours from Qatar to Riyadh and from Teheran to Ankara have direct responsibility to stop this extermination war which is being carried out by IS. We have to remind a lot of Islamic states that they now have to be united to defend their region", said Brok, who visited Baghdad and Erbil last week. He called on Baghdad to find common ground with Iraqi Sunnis. The terrible situation of refugees, including Christians and Yazidis, calls for more humanitarian aid, but also far more military assistance.

The EPP Group negotiator of the Resolution on the humanitarian crisis in Iraq and Syria, in particular in the IS context, Tunne Kelam MEP, called for a long-term strategy to defeat IS: “There is not just the immediate problem of addressing the needs of 12 million displaced persons inside Syria and 5 million in Iraq. An equally immediate challenge is to defeat IS and create conditions for displaced people to return to their homes to be able to live there in normal conditions", said Kelam.

He stressed that if not contained soon, the situation risks turning into a major regional or international conflict which will be contagious. “This is why we need concrete actions, international cooperation including the use of force. Terrorists can only be contained by coordinated political will and better arms”, concluded Kelam.

The European Parliament Resolution stresses that defeating the extremist terrorist threat in the Middle East and North Africa region is crucial to combating terrorism inside the European Union since it feeds home-grown radicalisation. Moreover, the EU should consider initiating the organisation of a donor conference.