Kerry: ‘extraordinary challenges’ lie ahead in the world

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Friday, Jan. 22, 2016. (AP)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that “extraordinary opportunities” lie ahead and that the world is becoming a safer place despite threats.

While the fight against extremism is “the challenge of our generation,” the world is “heading in the right direction,” the top diplomat said in a speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“In the end, mark my words, Daesh will be defeated, and the progress we have made towards that goal has been remarkable,” Kerry said, using an Arabic term for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group.

“Daesh has already lost over 30 percent of the territory it once held and much of its financing, he added.

Kerry said the last year’s nuclear deal signed between Iran and six world powers, including the U.S., had made the world a safer place.

“We were on the cusp of confrontation, believe me… in all likelihood, without diplomacy [with Iran], it would have ended in war,” he added.

Kerry told world leaders gathered in the Swiss town for the annual meeting that the world “is not witnessing global gridlock. “We are not frozen in an nightmare we cannot wake up from.. If we stay serious and work in good faith, then we can make progress.”

Key steps have been taken to resolve the conflict in Syria, he added, saying that all of the involved countries have agreed on a list of principles for an ongoing peace process.

“Nothing would do more to end the threat of Da’esh than to negotiate an end to the war in Syria,” said Kerry.
 

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