War on terror ‘key’ to Italy’s OCSE chairmanship

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Rome, May 11 (IANS/AKI) The fight against terrorism is “a top priority” for Italy, the coordinator of its chairmanship of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe told a meeting on returning foreign fighters here on Thursday.

“Countering terrorism represents a top priority,” Italian diplomat Vinicio Mati Mati in opening remarks to the ‘The Reverse Flow of Foreign Terrorist Fighters: Challenges for the OSCE Area and Beyond’ conference.

“Cooperation between OSCE Members is essential for preventing violent extremism and effectively tackle the challenge of foreign fighters,” he said.

OCSE states need to focus on cooperation and on sharing information because foreign fighters returning from conflict zones to the OSCE area and beyond are “a transnational threat”, Mati said.

The two-day conference through Friday aims to foster regional and international co-operation on foreign fighters returning to Europe and to look at ways to mitigate the security risks they pose.

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Over 350 high-level participants are attending the meeting including government minister and experts, international and sub-regional organizations, academics and civil society representatives from OSCE member states and partners – amid fears that returning or relocating foreign fighters may stage terror attacks at home, incite terrorism, recruit and fundraise for terrorist groups, OSCE said.

–IANS/AKI

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