Response to the Spanish Secretary of State for Security and the Ambassador of Morocco: Statement to the FSC/PC

We’d also like to thank State Secretary Martinez Vazquez as well as the distinguished Ambassador of Morocco for their presentations this morning, and for their countries’ strong commitment to the fight against terrorism.

We all want to do more to harden transatlantic security and stand together to address common threats. In particular by degrading and ultimately defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which is a threat to trans-Atlantic security, prosperity, and values.  Counterterrorism laws and policies to prevent our citizens from joining ISIL protect our societies and promote our key governing tenets, including rule of law, state sovereignty, peace and security, and human rights and dignity. The United States will work with other OSCE participating States and Partner States, civil society and private sector leaders, relevant international organizations, and other international stakeholders to mitigate foreign fighter recruitment, address humanitarian crises, expose ISIL’s true nature, and cut off terrorist financing. To that end, we welcome the ongoing discussions of the draft Ministerial Council decisions on addressing foreign terrorist fighters and kidnapping for ransom.

Moreover, in light of the destabilizing effects of excessive stockpiles of small arms and light weapons and conventional ammunition, we welcome participating States’ ongoing efforts to combat illicit weapons trafficking and reduce stockpiles in the Mediterranean region and throughout the OSCE space. We hope all participating States will support the draft decision that promotes the provision of assistance to Partners for Cooperation in this important area. This decision is an important step forward in facilitating project work in the Mediterranean region and helping address these transnational threats.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires Kate Byrnes to the Joint Meeting of the Forum for Security Cooperation and the Permanent Council, Vienna