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Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister: IS 'Ugly Face Of Unfortunate Illness Of Global Terrorism'


Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov (file photo)

Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov (file photo)

Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov has called the Islamic State (IS) militant group the "ugly face of [the] unfortunate illness" of global terrorism.

Speaking after his December 10 meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington, Idrissov told Spain's EFE news agency that terrorism was a "global phenomenon" and that IS had become an "international issue."

"Consequently, we welcome and we support the international community's efforts to battle against the so-called Islamic State," Idrissov was quoted as saying.

Describing Washington's call for international assistance in the fight against IS, the Kazakh foreign minister said that the United States had made a "universal appeal to all members of the international community to participate." Idrissov added that Astana had its own way of addressing the issue, but did not go into specific details.

"Joining forces is a very wise and indispensable way of confronting that challenge [of global terror]," Idrissov said.

Before his meeting with Idrissov, Kerry told reporters that Washington and Astana "have enjoyed a growing security partnership.... We are working on the challenge of [Islamic State], of counterterrorism."

Kazakhstan is increasingly concerned about the domestic threat of IS, particularly regarding the dangers posed by radicalization. The Kazakh government moved to ban a recent video released by IS militants that showed Kazakh nationals, including children, attending training camps in Syria.

To address the threat posed by IS, Kazakhstan has said it will be cooperating with regional countries via the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), an intergovernmental military alliance between six former Soviet states including Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

On December 11, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev said that the withdrawal of coalition forces from Afghanistan and the "new threats associated with Islamic State" meant that the CSTO must become an "analytical center that can control the situation, predict and develop proposals to take collective action."

Nazarbaev's remarks came after a meeting with the secretary-general of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, Nikolai Bordyuzha.

-- Joanna Paraszczuk

About This Blog

"Under The Black Flag" provides news, opinion, and analysis about the impact of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group in Syria, Iraq, and beyond. It focuses not only on the fight against terrorist groups in the Middle East, but also on the implications for the region and the world. The blog's primary author, James Miller, closely covered the first three years of the Arab Spring, with a focus on Syria, and is now the managing editor of The Interpreter, where he covers Russia's foreign and domestic policy and the Kremlin's wars in Syria and Ukraine. Follow him on Twitter: @Millermena

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