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G20 Leaders Gather In Turkey, To Discus Fight Against Terror

  • RFE/RL

U.S. President Barack Obama (left) speaks as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan looks on during a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Antalya on November 15.

U.S. President Barack Obama (left) speaks as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan looks on during a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Antalya on November 15.

World leaders are gathering in southern Turkey on November 15 for a summit of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies expected to focus on the fight against terrorism.

The two-day meeting in the Mediterranean resort of Belek comes after 129 people were killed and more than 350 were wounded in coordinated Paris attacks claimed by Islamic State militants.

Describing the November 13 assaults as “an attack on the civilized world," President Barack Obama said the United States would work with France to hunt down those responsible.

He was speaking at a joint news conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on November 15, ahead of the G20 summit.

Obama also said the two leaders agreed to boost the campaign to "eliminate" the IS group.

Erdogan said there will be a "strong message" on fighting terrorism coming out of the gathering.

"We are confronted with a collective terrorist effort," he said. “This terrorist action is not only against the people of France but against all humanity."

He made the comments as five Turkish police officers were injured on November 15 when a suicide bomber blew himself up during a raid on a suspected IS hideout near the Syrian border.

Turkish security forces also rounded up 20 suspected IS militants in and around the city of Antalya, located near Belek, in the run-up to the G20 meeting.

A U.S.-led coalition has been bombing IS targets in Iraq and Syria for more than a year, while Russia launched its own bombing campaign in Syria on September 30.

Speaking after meeting with leaders of Brazil, India, China, and South Africa, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the world would only be able to deal with the terrorist threat if “all the international community unites its efforts."

French President Francois Hollande canceled his plans to attend the G20 summit to deal with the aftermath of the attacks.

According to a draft statement seen by Reuters, the leaders of the G20 condemned the Paris attacks as "heinous" and said they remained united in fighting terrorism.

They also agreed to step up border controls and aviation security in the wake of the tragedy, the draft document reads.

With reporting by AFP, AP, and Reuters
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