Selected Leader Statements About International Efforts to Counter ISIL and Support the People of Iraq and Syria*

*The following is a sample of statements and is not intended to be comprehensive.

Albanian President Bujar Nishani: “Terrorism remains a major threat to international peace and security and the fight against terrorism remains a priority that requires a higher commitment. We are aware that this global threat can only be met by collective action through a powerful response. Albania condemns in the strongest terms all terrorist acts of attack committed by terrorist groups and organizations in Iraq and Syria, including and especially by ISIL. Aware that terrorism in a threat without borders, a threat to individual countries and regions but also to human values and principles, Albania has joined [the] recently created international coalition in order to deter and finally defeat ISIS.” [Remarks, 69th United Nations General Assembly, 9/25/14]

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott: “I refuse to call this hideous movement ‘Islamic State’ because it’s not a state; it is a death cult. In good conscience … Australia cannot leave the Iraqi people to face this horror, this pure evil, alone or ask others to do so in the name of human decency what we won’t do ourselves. It is right to do what we prudently and proportionately can to alleviate this suffering, to prevent its spread and to deal with its perpetrators.” [Prime Minister Tony Abbott Statement, 9/1/14]

Bahraini Foreign Affairs Minister Khaled Bin Ahmed Al Khalifa: “This situation requires immediate response from the international community in order to unify ranks, beleaguer and terminate all terrorist groups… Fighting ISIS, or Daesh as we call it, is one battle of a broader war on terrorism as a whole, which needs a holistic approach… We have a coalition of about forty countries that expressed their interest and support for the operations against terrorist activities in the Gulf region, but field assessment remains with the military.” [Bahrain Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 9/23/14]

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper: “Canada condemns the systematic campaign of persecution that is being perpetrated in the city of Mosul, Iraq, by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) … The very notion of religious freedom is what ISIS is working to eradicate and what the Iraqi people and the international community cannot surrender.” [Prime Minister of Canada – Statement, 7/22/14]

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird: “Canada's facilitation of crucial airlifts is another demonstration of our support for Iraq at this critical time. The threat posed by ISIL requires a firm response from the international community and Canada is committed to playing its part.” [Government of Canada – Press Release, 9/15/14]

Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek: “We will need a broader international alliance. We need a coordinated effective approach. Let us work on that…We are prepared to offer the training of civil defense forces and integrated rescue system in Iraqi Kurdistan and are looking for further ways how to improve the ability of Iraqi security forces and to support the democratic process.” [Remarks, International Conference on Peace and Security in Iraq, 9/15/14]

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry: “…Egypt believes that it’s very important for the world to continue their efforts strongly to fight this extremism and these terrorist actions that take Islam as a cover, when in reality, they seek to realize political gains and use military methods and barbaric methods…We support all international effort to fight terrorism and we support these efforts and we will take all measures that are intended to eliminate this phenomena altogether, whether in Libya or any other part of the Arab world or in the African continent in particular.” [Secretary Kerry Joint Press Availability with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, 9/13/14]

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: “‘Estonia has decided to donate a million machine gun cartridges to support their struggle against the Islamic State,’ [Foreign Minister Urmas Paet] said. According to Paet, Estonia has also provided humanitarian aid to people fleeing from the extremist attacks, in order to help alleviate the situation of internally displaced people.” [Republic of Estonia – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 8/29/14]

French President François Hollande: “This conference has a single goal: to lend the new Iraqi authorities the political support necessary for them to combat a major threat, which is called Daesh [ISIL] and poses a major risk to Iraq, the Middle East region and the world…So the Iraqis’ fight against the terrorists is also ours. And we must commit ourselves together – that’s the purpose of this conference – alongside the Iraqi authorities, clearly, steadfastly and strongly. And there’s no time to lose.” [Remarks, International Conference on Peace and Security in Iraq, 9/15/14]

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius: “…In Iraq we have decided to bring our air support, and the Iraqis have asked us to do that, and we are doing that. We have given weapons, we are giving humanitarian aid as well, in Iraq. In Syria, we are directly helping the moderate opposition in terms of humanitarian aid, in terms of weapons as well, and training. But the two things are inter-related because this Daech group is transnational, and the Americans have decided with some Arab countries to be present in Syria. It’s good, but we cannot do everything, and for the time-being we are concentrating on Iraq.” [Interview, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, 9/26/14]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel: “We have seen acts of unbelievable brutality,’ said Angela Merkel… ‘Can we really wait and hope that somebody else will see it as his or her responsibility? … Now, we have the chance to help save lives and prevent any further mass murder in Iraq, and we must use this chance.” [Chancellor of Germany – Statement, 9/1/14]

Iraqi Foreign Affairs Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari: “Iraq reaffirms its position to face up to terrorism as an international scourge that should be eliminated. It is extremely important for coordination and cooperation amongst all parties to take place. The influx of terrorist fighters from all over the world to establish this state of ISIS is a great danger not only to Iraq and Syria but to the entire region. Fighting those terrorists in Iraq, Mr. President, and sparing the Iraqi people their evils is in the interest of the entire world…We believe that the main responsibility to fight DASH and ISIS and other terrorist organizations on our territory is our responsibility, and the responsibility of the Iraqi armed forces and the peshmerga forces and the national guard as well. However, aerial support requires assistance by friendly nations.” [United Nations Security Council Meeting On Iraq, 9/19/14]

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: “Japan regards the activities of ISIL, which extends across national borders and has declared unilaterally the establishment of a so-called "state," to be a serious threat to international order. What is important now is preventing extremism from taking root while also responding swiftly to the region's humanitarian crises. To assist in this regard, Japan will implement $50 million dollars of emergency assistance right away” [Remarks, 69th United Nations General Assembly, 9/25/2014]

Jordanian King Abdullah II: “In my region, the challenges have grown significantly since I spoke here last. Those who say, ‘this is not our business’, are wrong. The security of every nation will be shaped by the fate of the Middle East… The terrorists and criminals targeting Syria, Iraq, and other countries today are extreme reflections of a global threat. Our international community needs a collective strategy to contain and defeat these groups. My country is at the forefront of this effort.” [Remarks, 69th United Nations General Assembly, 9/24/14]

Jordanian Foreign Affairs Minister Nasser Judeh: “Today, the world is facing an imminent danger. This is an unprecedented danger, with its savagery and its capacity to bleed society, to take advantage of political and security vacuums, and to leverage problems of national unity within states for their own purposes, for political reasons, or due to disenfranchisement or polarization of religion or otherwise in order to use their own military and economic situation, and they have the organization we know today…[W]e support the idea of a Security Council meeting that will be presided over by President Barack Obama on foreign combatants, and we further endorse the initiative of Bahrain to organize a conference to tackle the issue of financing sources for terrorism. We also welcome the statement, the presidential statement that was adopted by the Security Council.” [United Nations Security Council Meeting On Iraq, 9/19/14]

Latvian President Andris BērziƆš: “We express our support and solidarity with the US in their fight with terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere.” [President of Latvia – Statement, 9/3/14]

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen: “I encourage all Iraqi political leaders to stand behind the new government to ensure it addresses the legitimate interests and aspirations of all Iraqis. Their support will be essential to defeat the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which poses a grave threat to the Iraqi people, to the wider region, and to our nations. At the NATO Summit in Wales, we reaffirmed our commitment to the NATO-Iraq partnership. Should the Iraqi government request it, we stand ready to consider measures within the framework of the Alliance’s Defence Capacity Building initiative to assist Iraq in its efforts to build more effective security forces.” [North Atlantic Treaty Organization, 9/9/14]

New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully: “We need to find a way to contain the madness that is ISIL, to address the humanitarian tragedy and to help the people of Syria and Iraq craft a better future. By any objective standard, this is a situation that cries out for Security Council attention, and that is true of both sides of the border. We need the Council Members and the Governments concerned to move past the ideological stalemate that has kept the Council largely impotent for the past 3 years. The challenge we all face in Syria and Iraq is unlike any the United Nations has faced before. The political circumstances in which it is being played out are about as bad as they get. Yet somehow we must find a way of coming together to defeat this shared problem.” ” [Remarks, 69th United Nations General Assembly, 9/29/2014]

Rwandan Minister of State in Charge of Cooperation Eugene-Richard Gasana: "...Rwanda reiterates its firm support to the ongoing fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL), which commit mass atrocities against civilians, behead journalists and humanitarian workers and persecute religious minorities, including Christians and Yazidis. We believe that it is important that the Security Council, which has always been unanimous in its fight against terrorism, more recently in Resolution 2170 (2014) and Resolution 2178 should support the coalition led by the Unites States, aimed at degrading and ultimately defeating ISIL. And as we speak, the fight to save the population of the Syrian town of Kobane from a barbaric extermination should be our reaffirmation of our collective Responsibility to Protect." [See his full speech, 10/22/2014]

Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz: “If neglected I'm sure they [terrorists] will reach Europe in a month and America in another month … The evils of terrorism must be fought with force, reason and speed.” [Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, 8/30/14]

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal: “My country [Saudi Arabia], for its part, will not hesitate to participate in any serious efforts aimed at mobilizing a concerted international action and intensifying it to fight terrorism wherever it is found, and whatever its motives and reasons are, or those who stand behind it, regardless their race, color or religious belief.” [Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, 9/23/14]

United Arab Emirates Ambassador To The U.S. Yousef Al Otaiba: “For certain, the United States and the West have a big interest in this battle. But no one has more at stake than the UAE and other moderate countries in the region that have rejected the regressive Islamist creed and embraced a different, forward-looking path. Now is the time to act. The UAE is ready to join the international community in an urgent, coordinated and sustained effort to confront a threat that will, if unchecked, have global ramifications for decades to come. Any action must begin with a clear plan for direct intervention against ISIS but must address the other dangerous extremist groups in the region. It is also critical to tackle the support networks, the entire militant ideological and financial complex that is the lifeblood of extremism.” [Embassy of the United Arab Emirates – Statement, 9/3/14]

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron: “We support the action that the United States and five Arab states have taken in Syria, and I believe that there is a strong case for us to do more in Syria … I do not believe that there is a legal barrier, because I think that the legal advice is clear that were we or others to act, there is a legal basis, but it is true to say that the Syrian situation is more complicated than the Iraqi situation…As I have said, in the end, what Syria needs is what Iraq needs: a Government that can represent all of its people.” [Remarks before Parliament on the Coalition against ISIL, 9/26/14]

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron: “…the alliance was clear about the scale of the threat from Islamist extremism. And we agreed we must use all the instruments at our disposal, humanitarian, diplomatic and military, to squeeze this barbaric terrorist organization out of existence … The fight against ISIL must be led by the Iraqis themselves, but we will continue to encourage countries in the region to support this effort and to engage allies across the world.” [Remarks, NATO Summit, 9/5/14]

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: “Confronting terrorist groups operating in Syria requires a multi-facetted approach. This approach should be designed to address the immediate security risks, to stop atrocity crimes and, over the longer term, to eliminate the conditions in which these groups take root. I urge the world leaders gathered in New York, especially those participating in tomorrow’s Security Council Summit on foreign terrorist fighters, to come together decisively in support of efforts to confront these groups.” [Remarks, Climate Summit Press Conference, 9/23/14]

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: “The people of Iraq — all Iraqi people — need security. Yet, the poison of hatred and brutality is spreading. The so-called ‘Islamic State,’ IS, is a threat to Iraq, Syria and the region. I am profoundly dismayed by its barbaric acts, including accounts of summary executions, boys forcibly taken from their homes to fight, and girls abducted or trafficked as sex slaves.” [United Nations, 8/12/14]