7 June 2012The U.S. Secretary of State has said her country backed Turkey's fight against terrorist organization PKK.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered the opening remarks of the Ministerial Level Plenary of the Coordinating Committee meeting of the Global Counterrorism Forum (GCTF) in Istanbul on Thursday.
"In Turkey, PKK continues its long campaign of terror and violence which have claimed tens of thousands of lives. The United States stands strongly with Turkey in its fight against the PKK," said Clinton, speaking as the co-chair of the platform.
Pointing to the importance of the GCTF, Clinton said, "It is often easier to focus on concerns and crises of the moment, but the long-term partnership we are building through this forum will pay off for years to come."
Clinton noted that the international community had made major progress in fight with violent extremism in all its forms in recent years.
She said successful activities had been carried out such as working together to disrupt terrorist financing, passing new and more effective counterterrorism laws, tightening border security and improving international coordination.
The secretary said, over the last decade, 120,000 suspected terrorists had been arrested around the world and more than 35,000 had been convicted, Osama bin Laden had been killed and Al-Qaeda's leadership had been devastated.
"Our citizens are safer because of the work we have done together. But despite this progress, the danger from terrorism remains urgent and undeniable," she said.
Clinton noted that the threat had spread, becoming more geographically diverse.
"We need a strategic, comprehensive approach to counterterrorism that integrates both military and civilian power, that uses intelligence, law enforcement, diplomacy development, humanitarian assistance," she said.
"To defeat a terrorist network, we need to do more than to remove terrorists from the battlefield," she also said, "We need to attack finances, recruitment and safe havens."
Clinton said the GCTF emphasized the importance of strengthening civilian institutions in such process.
"We have to continue working together to defeat extremist ideology," she said.
Pointing to the importance of rule of law, Clinton said democracies were better equipped than autocracies to stand up against terrorism.
Commenting on the protests and awakenings in the Arab world as well, the state secretary said such movements had struck a devastating blow to the extremist ideology.,
"I am here to underscore that the United States will work with all of you to combat terrorism within the framework of the rule of law," she said.
"We will always maintain our right to use force against groups such as Al Qaeda," Clinton added.