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Action needed on foreign jihad fighters: Kerry, Bishop

English.news.cn   2014-08-12 16:57:25

SYDNEY, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- A shocking photograph of an Australian jihadist's seven-year-old son holding up the severed head of a soldier in Syria showed the extreme danger of returning jihad fighters returning from the Middle East, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday.

Home-grown terrorists and returning foreign fighters have been a major focus of strategic talks between the United States and Australia, with the two countries agreeing to push for international action on the issue at the United Nations next month.

Australia-United States Ministerial Consultation (AUSMIN) talks in Sydney on Tuesday brought together Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry as well as U.S. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel and Australian Defence Minister David Johnston.

At a joint press conference, Kerry said the issue of foreign fighters would be put to the UN General Assembly Leader's Week in late September.

"We are going to work together to assemble a compendium of the best practices in the world today regarding those foreign fighters, " Kerry said.

Kerry said the image of the boy holding the severed head was " one of the most disturbing, stomach-turning, grotesque photographs ever displayed."

"That child should be in school, that child should be out learning about a future, that child should be playing with other kids, not holding a severed head and out in the field of combat," he said.

Bishop said there were a number of countries reporting instances of citizens becoming extremist fighters in the Middle East.

"So many countries are facing this threat and if we can exchange ideas and practices, and suggestions, as how we can deal with it, I think we would have made a great step forward," she said.

The ministers signed a legally-binding force posture agreement to deepen defence ties between Canberra and Washington, including the rotation of U.S. marines through Darwin, which is set to rise from the current 1,150 U.S. Marines to 2,500 by 2017.

Australia first agreed to host a rotating contingent of U.S. Marines in 2011, as the United States announced its pivot to Asia.

Editor: xuxin
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