May 27, 2017
TAORMINA, ITALY- Leaders of the Group of Seven major industrial nations on Friday demonstrated their unity in the fight against terrorism, at their summit meeting in Taormina, Sicily, southern Italy, that started the same day for a two-day run.The leaders from the seven countries--Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States--as well as the European Union, also shared the view that free and fair trade and investment will bring mutual benefits.
In a joint statement against terrorism and violent extremism, released on the first day of the summit, the leaders expressed their “deepest sympathy and condolences” to the families of the victims of a suicide bombing in Manchester, Britain, on Monday, adding, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.”
“We stand united in our joint endeavor to make sure that our citizens are safe and secure...and will take the strongest action possible to find, identify, remove and punish, as appropriate, terrorists and those who abet their activities,” the statement said.
Countering terrorism and violent extremism “remains a major priority for the G-7,” the leaders said, stressing that the brutal attack in Manchester demonstrated the need to redouble efforts in the antiterror fight.
They also agreed to task interior ministers of their countries to meet as soon as possible to discuss counterterrorism measures and to “work collectively with the private sector and civil society to defeat terrorism.”
The leaders warned that the Internet, which is one of the most important technological achievements in the last decades, has also proven to be “a powerful tool for terrorist purposes.”
Communication service providers and social media companies need to “substantially increase” their efforts to address terrorist content, the said, specifically asking them to act urgently in developing “tools to improve the automatic detection of content promoting incitement to violence.”
The leaders said they will “refocus” their efforts on cutting off terrorist financing. They underscored that they will “employ targeted financial sanctions” to disrupt terrorist support networks and “strengthen G-7 cooperation on these sanctions.”
At the summit, the leaders confirmed that information-sharing among relevant authorities of countries and beefing up border control are indispensable for combating terrorism.
The threat of terrorism is becoming even more serious, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at the first-day meeting, noting that moves to support terrorism and terror plots inspired by the Islamic State extremist group are spreading to Asia.
The leaders also discussed North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, and the situation in Syria.
They shared the view that North Korea has entered a new stage of threat, and agreed to try to resolve the North Korean problems as a top priority issue for the international community. (Jiji Press)