US, UK will 'not be cowed' by militants

Newport - Faced with a mounting militant threat in the Middle East, President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron declared on Thursday that their nations will "not be cowed" by extremists who have killed two American journalists.

"We will be more forthright in the defence of our values, not least because a world of greater freedom is a fundamental part of how we keep our people safe", the leaders wrote in a joint editorial in the Times of London.

Their comments come as world leaders gather at a golf resort in Wales for a high-stakes Nato summit.

While the official agenda will focus on the crisis in Ukraine and the drawdown of the Nato combat mission in Afghanistan, the rise of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria will dominate discussions on the sidelines of the summit.

The militants have claimed responsibility for murdering two American journalists, releasing gruesome videos of their beheadings. Both the US and Britain are deeply concerned about the potential threat to their homelands that could come from the foreign fighters who have joined the violent Islamic State group.

Cameron on Monday proposed new laws that would give police the power to seize the passports of Britons suspected of having travelled abroad to fight with terrorist groups.

Obama and Cameron appear to suggest that Nato should play a role in containing the militants, but were not specific in what action they would seek from the alliance.

The two leaders were to visit with students at a local school on Thursday morning before joining their counterparts from France, Germany and Italy to discuss the crisis in Ukraine.


New Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was also to join the discussion in a show of Western solidarity with his embattled nation.

Ukraine and Russia have been locked in a standoff for months, with pro-Moscow forces stirring instability in eastern Ukrainian cities.

On the eve of the Nato summit, Russia and Ukraine said they were working on a deal to halt the fighting, but Western leaders expressed scepticism, noting it wasn't the first attempt to end the deadly conflict.

Nato leaders are expected to agree this week on the creation of a rapid response force that would set up in nations in the alliance's eastern flank to serve as a deterrent to Russia. Baltic nations and others in the region fear Moscow could set its sights on their borders next.

"We must use our military to ensure a persistent presence in Eastern Europe, making clear to Russia that we will always uphold our Article 5 commitments to collective self-defence", Obama and Cameron wrote.

Under Article 5 of the Nato charter, an attack on one member state is viewed on an attack on the whole alliance. Obama reiterated his support for that principle Wednesday during a visit to Estonia, one of the newer Nato members set on edge by Russia's provocations.

VoxPopuli 2014/09/04 12:49:32 PM
Just remember, this same people they're fighting now, killed 800 civillians with Chemical Weapons in Syria and the West continued to send them weapons. When Assad was accused #1, the Obama said the "red line" was crossed and it made headlines everywhere. The "evil" Russians intervened averting war in Syria while the UN investigated US claims and later found FSA was responsible, but this was kept from you. Not a single word from Obama on Del Ponte's findings, CNN also thought it was not newsworthy!
Derek Bredenkamp 2014/09/04 01:04:47 PM
The only threat they fear is the contol of oil reserves.
Stefan Van Der Spuy 2014/09/04 01:25:16 PM
So why hasn't ISIS been blown into oblivion yet?
Sean Mitchell 2014/09/04 01:26:28 PM
Sorry Sarel but your facts are fiction
Rice Safari 2014/09/04 01:40:35 PM
Wow, the body language in the photograph attached to this article speaks volumes. The two individuals in the photograph find each other mutually repulsive and are unable to disguise their animosity, not even for a photo op. That is interesting.
Deon Pretorius 2014/09/04 01:58:24 PM
We are all united with America and Briton in the fight against these barbarians in Iraq. We just want the world to see that it was America that started this whole mess. They are now attempting to fit the sh&t back into the horse. We all backed them when they went to war with Afghanistan. It was when they invaded Iraq that we started to think.
Makhulu Zulu 2014/09/04 02:00:04 PM
And Israel? Nothing about their massacre of civilians in Palestine. Although IS actions are reprehensible, so too are Israels. Double standards. That's why IS was born.
Ashley John Hattingh 2014/09/04 02:04:55 PM
Israel is not wrong they have every right to self-defend themselves against muslims
Muhammad Akhalwaya 2014/09/04 02:17:54 PM
militants also not cowed by US and UK. Been fighting the US and UK since they illegally invaded in 2003. Still terrorising the paranoid US and UK. till today. If they were even one bit scared of the mouthy US presidents, they would have thrown in the towel years ago.
Sean Mitchell 2014/09/04 02:27:00 PM
Okay Sarel. Much to the chagrin of the US loony right, epitomised by an increasingly grumpy McCain, Obama has refused to arm Syrian rebels. He is a highly intelligent and cautious president unlike his predecessor