Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has called for strong global measures to combat terrorism, warning that such threats could soon “target the west”.
“If neglected I’m sure they [terrorists] will reach Europe in a month and America in another month,” said King Abdullah during a presentation of credentials ceremony held in Jeddah on Saturday for new ambassadors to Saudi Arabia, including U.S. Ambassador Joseph W. Westphal.
The monarch also urged all ambassadors to convey the importance of fighting the threat of terrorism to their governments.
“The evils of terrorism must be fought with force, reason and speed,” he said.
King Abdullah’s statement comes in the wake of rapidly spreading militant activities in Iraq and Syria by the militant group Islamic State (IS).
The group, which has seized parts of Iraq and Syria, shocked the Western world after beheading American journalist James Foley, warning US not to interfere in its affairs.
The US, which is conducting military strikes in Iraq, is also now considering the same tactic in Syria to combat IS, also referred to as ISIL and ISIS.
On Saturday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the US is planning to push for a coalition of countries to beat IS militants during a NATO summit next week.
“With a united response led by the United States and the broadest possible coalition of nations, the cancer of ISIS will not be allowed to spread to other countries,” Kerry wrote in an opinion piece published in The New York Times.
Kerry said he and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will meet with their European counterparts to gather support for a coalition to act against Islamic State militants. “The goal is to enlist the broadest possible assistance,” he wrote.
Hagel and Kerry will also travel to the Middle East to increase support from the countries directly affected by the threat, he said.
“Already our efforts have brought dozens of nations to this cause,” he said. “Certainly there are different interests at play. But no decent country can support the horrors perpetrated by ISIS, and no civilized country should shirk its responsibility to help stamp out this disease.”
On its part, Saudi Arabia has been actively promoting efforts to tackle terrorism, also calling for the establishment of an international centre to combat terrorism.
In 2005, the Kingdom hosted the Counter-Terrorism International Conference in Riyadh during which the proposal for the establishment of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Center (UNCCT) was unanimously adopted.
King Abdullah pledged $10 million to the UN to establish the center, while in 2011, Saudi Arabia signed an agreement with the UN to launch the UNCCT.
Earlier this month, King Abdullah provided the center with a donation of $100 million to enhance its capabilities and effectiveness in helping countries combat terrorism.