G20 Talks: An Opportunity For Unity?

Today the G20 met in Turkey to discuss numerous issues of global importance, but undoubtedly the main topic of conversation revolved around the terrorist atrocity in Paris on 13 Nov. Significantly, President Vladimir Putin spoke at length to President Obama during a break in the talks. As a result of the Paris attacks, there is a strong possibility of a coordinated effort, not only by the West but also with the Russians. Since 30 September, Russian aircraft have been successfully targeting IS militants. On Sunday night, the French air force sent their message to IS by targeting vital command and control centers in Raqqa, Syria.

Vladimir Putin has called for the setting aside of inferences in an effort to coordinate a unified response to IS and their reign of terror. Putin says he’s has shared Russian intelligence data on Islamic State financing with his G20 colleagues: the terrorists appear to be financed from 40 countries, including some G20 member states. It has long been known that support for the Islamic State was not only confined to young radicalized muslims traveling to Syria in search of Jihad, but also financing.

French jets take of for Raqqa.
French jets take of for Raqqa.

Putin went further by stating that it’s was not the right time to try and figure out which country is more and which is less effective in the battle with Islamic State, as now a united international effort is needed against the terrorist group. He went on to reiterated Russia’s readiness to support armed opposition in Syria in its efforts to fight Islamic State.”Some armed opposition groups consider it possible to begin active operations against IS with Russia’s support. And we are ready to provide such support from the air. If it happens it could become a good basis for the subsequent work on a political settlement.” This was made clear at the recent meeting of US secretary of state John Kerry’s visit to Vienna. This dialogue is positive and timely, in light of what transpired in Paris on Friday night. The reality is that this will not be the last attack and the time for reticence is over. This could signal the formation of a coalition effort on IS, what is certain is that Western nations as well as regional actors will need to be involved to successfully target the pernicious evil that is the so called Islamic State.

As the G20 talks took place in Turkey, anti terror police in Belgium and France launched pre-dawn raids in an effort to detain persons suspected in the Paris attacks. It is expected that French authorities may also extend the state of emergency that is in effect since Friday.

French troops patrol Paris.
French troops patrol Paris.
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