Kerry pushes EU for effective war against jihadists
by Roni Alasor
Brussels, 4 October 2016 - Middle East Diplomatic (MED) - Talking to over 500 guests in the historical Concert Noble building in Brussels on the Future of Transatlantic Relations, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged EU to pass anti-terror laws for more effective war against Islamic jihadists. Mr Kerry called Turkey backed Al-Nusrah (al-Qaida) as an enemy of the United States, Europe and the world. He underlined also citizens are frustrated by corruption, the fast pace of change, the inequality, and the terrorism on their streets. The Transatlantic event was hosted by the German Marshall Fund in Brussels.
After a warm welcome by Dr. Karen Donfried, President of the German Marshall Fund, the Vietnam war veteran Mr Kerry regretted the current EU policy on security measures to tackle the war against jihadists. The Senior American politician came in direct confrontation with the European Parliament and asked its Members (MEPs) to vote in favour of a transatlantic deal on data sharing.
The chief of the US Foreign policy does not agree with the MEPs who refuse the data protection agreement in the transatlantic cooperation because of privacy concerns: “the possible harvesting of personal data of innocent civilians”.
According Mr Kerry, the data protection agreement between the US and Europe, which would allow European and American security services to share information on suspected terrorists, is crucially important in order to win the war against criminals who are using the religion as a tool to achieve their inhuman goals.
Mr Kerry criticised MEPs and urged them to accept the “scale and reality of the threat facing both Europe and America”: "I respectfully urge the European parliament to ratify the proposed Data Privacy and Protection Agreement which would enable us to make immediate progress in sharing data in criminal and terrorism investigations. What we call connecting the dots is essential at a time when there are groups actively plotting”.
Brexit: strongest possible EU and UK
Mr Kerry also called the UK and EU for closer cooperation without to be directly involved in upcoming negotiations on Brexit. But he underlined important common goals for Western security: A United Europe: "As much as some of us may wish the UK vote had gone the other way, the lesson we have to take from this democratic choice is not that we need less Europe or less UK, rather that we need more of both. More security, more prosperity, more collaboration among the US, the UK and the EU to address the demands of our citizens and the challenges that our democratic societies face. The US will support its friends and its allies on both sides of the channel as you work through the tough issues ahead, but we will not be shy about where our interests lie. We need the strongest possible EU, the strongest possible UK and a highly integrated, collaborative relationship between them."
John Kerry also pointed out the rise of far-right groups such as France`s Front National and Germany`s AfD parties, warning against "raising drawbridges".
Syria: worst humanitarian disaster
Regarding the recent developments in Syria, Mr Kerry call it as the worst human - humanitarian disaster since World War and he criticised Russian’s Syria policy: "We are not giving up on Syrian people and we are not abandoning the pursuit of peace. We will continue to pursue a meaningful, sustainable, enforceable cessation of hostilities throughout the country - and that includes the grounding of Syrian and Russian combat aircrafts in designated areas."