Arabs must ramp up anti-ISIS fight, says European Commission chief

Barroso was speaking at WEF’s Special Meeting on Unlocking Resources for Regional Development

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The world must see more Arab rejection of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants to quell terrorism, President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso said at a World Economic Forum discussion in Istanbul on Monday.

Barroso, speaking at WEF’s Special Meeting on Unlocking Resources for Regional Development, said it is a mistake to describe the fight against what is referred to as ISIS using the “old narrative of West against terrorism.”

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This misguided narrative is “exactly what can give fanatics justification to enter a holy war against democracies,” Barroso said. To believe the crisis could be solved in this way would simply repeat the mistakes of the past, he added.

The official called on more Arab efforts to fight ISIS.

“These terrorists are mainly a threat to Muslim countries and to this region. We need to see, first of all, the Muslim countries, the Muslim societies, say that they reject that (ISIS), because, in fact, these acts are made against the Islamic faith and against, of course, the basic principles in which we all believe,” he added.

“We need the people in the round, in the region, to take up the issue and, of course, others can then act diplomatically, politically and sometimes even more than that.”

Barroso’s comments came in response to a question from Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, who described the threat from what is known as ISIS as a “tremendous menace, and threat to our global civilization”.

Barroso also said he believed Europe was united on the matter of fighting ISIS and told the meeting he was convinced EU enlargement would be ongoing and that Turkey would continue to be a major partner.

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