G-20 Targets Post-Paris Terrorism Financing, Border Controls

  • Draft statement to urge coordination on combatting extremism
  • Leaders concerned about increased flow of foreign fighters

World leaders will pledge to redouble efforts to strike at the lifeblood of terrorist organizations by targeting how they are financed and the movement of foreign extremists across borders in the wake of the attack in Paris.

In a statement dedicated to tackling the global terrorist threat, Group of 20 leaders meeting in the Turkish resort of Antalya will call for better coordination and exchange of information to cut off funding and a more comprehensive approach on addressing the conditions conducive to terrorism, according to two officials familiar with the draft. They also will look at tightening borders to detect travel and bolstering aviation safety.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with Barack Obama during the G20 Summit

Photographer: Kayhan Ozer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

“We are concerned over the acute and growing flow of foreign terrorist fighters and the threat it poses for all states, including countries of origin, transit and destination,” the G-20 will say. Leaders are due to discuss terrorism at a working dinner on Sunday.

The two-day summit in Antalya takes place in the shadow of the killing of at least 129 people in Paris late Friday by suicide bombers and gunmen linked to Islamic State. The slaying has raised pressure on U.S. President Barack Obama, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and other G-20 leaders to increase cooperation on battling the threat from militants.

Traditionally the G-20 has been a forum for economic discussion, but “the skies have been darkened by the horrific attacks that took place in Paris,” Obama said in televised remarks after meeting with the host, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “The killing of innocent people based on a twisted ideology is an attack not just on France” but “on the civilized world,” he said, pledging to help hunt down the perpetrators.

Obama and Putin later shook hands as they met for the first time since Russia sent warplanes into Syria to prop up leader Bashar al-Assad. “We have all seen the horror that took place recently in Paris and we sympathize with the affected people,” Putin said in Antalya, adding that Russia is “always in favor of joining efforts to deal effectively with the terrorist threat.”

The G-20 first addressed terrorism after the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. in 2001 with efforts to clamp down on terrorist financing. The topic was “surprisingly” omitted from last year’s summit hosted by Australia before returning to “the center of the agenda” for Turkey, John Kirton, co-director of the G-20 Research Group at the University of Toronto, said in an online commentary.

Syrian Talks

The murders in France galvanized countries at a conference in Vienna Saturday on how to end Syria’s civil war. They adopted a timeline that will let opposition groups help draft a constitution and elect a new government by 2017. A cease-fire between the government in Damascus and recognized opposition groups should be in place within six months, according to their statement.

The Paris attacks follow a deadly bombing last month in the Turkish capital Ankara and the downing of a Russian passenger jet over Egypt that western intelligence services have blamed on terrorists.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, speaking in Antalya, expressed his shock and solidarity over both the Paris attacks and the Russian plane disaster. “We will work more closely with the international community to reject and fight terrorism in all its manifestations,” he said.

The G-20 will urge a quicker implementation of the Financial Action Task Force, which involves stopping individuals sending money to groups such as Islamic State, known as Da’esh in Arabic, and tackling the black market for oil that’s key to its funding. Leaders also plan to prevent terrorists from exploiting technology, communications and resources to incite terrorist acts, including through the Internet.

“It should be our aim to coordinate our action against Da’esh,” European Union President Donald Tusk said in Antalya. “Co-operation between us and Russia is a crucial one.”

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