Obama, Cameron vow to defeat extremists

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Mentioning the TTP attack on a school in Peshawar as an example of how extremists were targeting children, US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron vowed on Thursday to work together to defeat these forces of evil.

“We will defeat these barbaric killers and their distorted ideology, which tries to justify the murder of innocents, whether children attending school in Peshawar, or girls forced to become suicide bombers in northern Nigeria,” wrote the two leaders in a joint opinion piece the White House released on Thursday.

In the piece, published in the London Times ahead of Cameron’s two-day visit to the White House, the leaders said last week’s terror attack on a French satirical magazine was an effort to muzzle free speech.

They said they would not allow terrorists to attack this basic right, which allows people to express their views without intimidation.

“Along with our French allies, we have made clear to those who think they can muzzle freedom of speech and expression with violence that our voices will only grow louder,” they wrote.

“Whether we are facing lone fanatics or terrorist organisations such as al Qaeda, Islamic State or Boko Haram we will not be cowed by extremists.”

The two leaders noted that there were more than one billion Muslims in the world, “the vast majority of whom are sickened by the evil these terrorists claim to perpetrate in the name of Islam”.

They said that the United States and Britain would continue to work closely with all those who believed in peace and tolerance.

“The terrorists know only how to destroy, but together we can do something infinitely more powerful: build security, strengthen justice and advance peace,” they wrote.

The two leaders also vowed to continue to stand up to Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine. “If we allow such fundamental breaches of international law to go unchecked, we will all suffer from the instability that would follow.”

They wrote that their strong and united response had sent an unmistakable message that the international community would not stand by as Russia attempts to destabilise Ukraine.

The two leaders reminded the world that when Britain and the United States stood together, they “defeated the Nazis and hunted down the core al Qaeda leadership.”