Italy’s Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will co-chair an in-person meeting of the global coalition to defeat the Islamic State terrorist group on Monday.
The event will draw delegations from over 80 countries.
“We will analyze strategies to counter-terrorism in high-risk areas such as the Syria-Iraq region and the Sahel region in Africa. Stabilizing these territories will also allow us to stop illegal migration flows to Italy and, hence, to the rest of Europe,” Di Maio wrote on Facebook.
In addition to the ministers, the meeting will be attended by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and a number of representatives from African countries who were invited to the event as observers.
/”The meeting presents an opportunity to renew the collective commitment of coalition members to the final defeat of ISIS and to prevent any attempts to restore it [the terror group].
With this goal in mind, the ministers will reaffirm the importance of maintaining a high attention to commitments, including the financial ones, to stabilize the liberated areas in Iraq and Syria,” the minister added.
One of the main discussion points of the meeting will be the fight against ISIS on the “global scale,” especially with its rapid spread in Africa.
The gathering will be followed by a press conference led by Blinken and Di Maio and a small meeting on Syria chaired by the US state secretary.
Blinken arrived in Rome on Sunday as part of a European tour. Prior to Italy, he had visited France and Germany. He will also visit the Vatican on Monday for an audience with Pope Francis.
Earlier, the US-led coalition has been working to return some 2,000 terrorist fighters as well as 2,000 Iraqi nationals currently detained by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to face accountability in their countries of origin, the US State Department acting Director of the Office of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Patrick Worman had stated.
“The [US-led] coalition is working to ensure that 2000 foreign terrorist fighters and 2000 Iraqis in SDF custody are ultimately returned to their countries of origin and face accountability. US and coalition support to SDF detention is critical, but this should not be misunderstood to be the long-term solution.
Repatriation, then prosecution or rehabilitation as appropriate, is the only long-term solution for the non-Syrians,” Worman said in a briefing.
The US diplomat also said that a total of about 10,000 captured Islamic State fighters are currently in SDF makeshift detention facilities while tens of thousands of women and children are still in humanitarian camps and being subject to significant security issues.
In May, Syrian Democratic Council Representative in the United States and member of the Presidential Committee, Bassam Saker told Sputnik that the SDF still holds about 5,000 foreign terrorists in custody because no country wants to take them back.