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UN Chief Says Russia and U.S. Must Unite to Destroy Islamic State

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has encouraged Russia and the United States to work together to fight jihadist violence, saying he intends to present a comprehensive plan to combat terrorism by early 2016.

During a meeting Sunday at the annual East Asia Summit taking place in Kuala Lumpur, the UN chief said he was very appreciative of efforts that had been made so far, but urged greater cooperation.

“All these terrorists and ideology extremists should be defeated in the name of humanity,” Ban said.

“In that regard, we need to unite. We need to show global solidarity to address this common enemy of ISIL, Daesh, some other extremists and terrorist groups,” he said.

The UN Chief also praised Russia’s initiative in combatting the Islamic State and the leadership that they had shown. “I count on the leadership of Russia,” he said, “and you are fighting the ISIS in Syria, and United Nations is ready to work with the member states including the Russian Federation.”

Ban said that he “highly commended the leadership of the Russian Federation together with the United States to address some of the root causes of terrorism.”

President Barack Obama employed strong rhetoric Sunday, promising that the United States and its allies would not relent in their struggle to fight the Islamic State.

“Destroying (ISIS) is not only a realistic goal, were going to get it done,” Obama stated in a news conference in the Malaysian capital.

“We will destroy them. We will take back land they are currently in, take out their financing, hunt down leadership, dismantle their networks, supply lines and we will destroy them,” he said.

Obama added that it “would be helpful” if Russia focused its attacks on the Islamic State and expressed his hope that Moscow would agree to a change in leadership in Syria.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev asserted Russian leadership in the fight against jihadism, but agreed that international cooperation was needed to defeat the Islamic State.

“We need a consolidated anti-terrorist position of those countries that have a large Islamic community, and incidentally Russia is one of these countries,” Medvedev said.

Medvedev added that “it is now clear we can only fight this threat by bringing our forces together and by working through such international institutions as the United Nations.”

Ban said the United Nations is pulling together ideas from its member states. “Early next year, the U.N. is going to present a comprehensive plan of action to defeat violence and extremism.”

Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome.

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