War on terror needs years, says Saudi FM

Saud al-Faisal also called for more decisive policies and decisions to fight terrorism in the region

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Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said Saturday that the war against extremists in the Middle East may take years and must not stop before all terrorist organizations are eliminated.

Saud al-Faisal, whose country is one of five Arab countries taking part alongside the United States in airstrikes targeting the Islamic State group in Syria, also called for more decisive policies and decisions to fight terrorism.

The Saudi official did not speak before the annual U.N. General Assembly of world leaders, but his speech was distributed to the media.

"We face a very dangerous situation today. Terrorism has evolved from cells to armies and from threatening specific spots to nations," he said.

"The war on terror requires serious and continuous work that may go on for years, and must not stop at partial victories against limited organizations," he said. "We must continue until all terrorist organizations are destroyed, wherever they may be."

Al-Faisal, whose country is a strong backer of the overwhelmingly Sunni rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said any solution to Syria's three-year-old conflict must exclude him, accusing the Syrian leader of pushing his people toward extremism with his brutal crackdown on peaceful protests.

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