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World leaders to discuss Islamic State militants at key summit in Turkey

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
US President Barak Obama greets Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff during the G20 Leaders Summit in Antalya
US President Barak Obama greets Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff during the G20 Leaders Summit in Antalya

US President Barack Obama and other world leaders arrived in Turkey today for a summit that has taken on new urgency after attacks in Paris pushed the fight against Islamic State militants to the top of the agenda.

Mr Obama, who called the attacks “an outrageous attempt to terrorize civilians” on the eve of his departure, faces the question of how the West should respond now Islamic State poses a clear threat far beyond its strongholds in Syria and Iraq.

Washington already expects France to retaliate by taking on a larger role in the US-led coalition’s bombing campaign against Islamic State.

But Mr Obama is also seeking to coax other European and Middle Eastern countries into more tangible steps to show their military commitment, a US official said before the president embarked on his nine-day foreign trip.

Mr Obama will hold a bilateral meeting with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman at the summit on Sunday evening, a White House official said. The two leaders committed to increase support for “the moderate Syrian opposition” in a call late last month and affirmed the need to cooperate in fighting Islamic State.
Their last meeting took place in early September in Washington.

The two-day summit of the Group of 20 major economies brings Obama and fellow world leaders just 500 km from Syria, where a 4 year conflict has transformed Islamic State into a global security threat and spawned Europe’s largest migration flows since the second World War.