Obama to lead Security Council session on foreign fighters threat on Sep 25

AFP| Updated: Sep 04, 2014, 05:58 AM IST

United Nations: President Barack Obama will lead a UN Security Council session on the threat of foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria on September 25, a US official has said.

The meeting will take place at the level of heads of state or government and coincide with the annual United Nations General Assembly, according to US envoy Samantha Power.
It will be the second time that Obama chairs a meeting of the top world body. In 2009, he presided over a meeting on nuclear non-proliferation.

The United States currently holds the rotating presidency of the 15-member council.

"We are seeing a surge in terrorists travelling from around the globe specifically to fight in foreign conflicts," Power said.
"These fighters participate in brutal atrocities... And often return home radicalised by their experiences."

A senior US intelligence official estimated yesterday that more than 12,000 foreign fighters had travelled to Syria to battle President Bashar al-Assad's regime, including more than 1,000 Europeans and more than 100 Americans.

Many had joined the ranks of the so-called Islamic State, blamed for the two recent beheadings of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, according to Matthew Olsen, director of the National Counter-terrorism Center, a US government organisation.

Power said Washington would be seeking consensus on the severity of the threat of such fighters and the need for collective action, adding that discussions were under way on a resolution on the matter.

The measure, she said, would "encourage international cooperation to prevent foreign terrorist fighters to travel" and "deepen" the UN's involvement.
"We are very confident that this resolution will secure consensus," she said. "This resolution will pave the way for national governments to do more."