WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Russia is taking part in a ministerial-level meeting focused on the evolving foreign terrorist fighter (FTF) threat, hosted by three US government departments on Wednesday, the US Department of State said in a statement.
“Convened on the margins of the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), this meeting will explore how we can improve our information sharing and collaboration on FTFs, which is crucial to confronting this global challenge,” the statement released on Wednesday said.
“The FTF meeting will give new energy and urgency to regional and global efforts to strengthen information-sharing and overall cooperation to reduce the flow of foreign fighters,” the statement said.
The meeting is “extremely timely” as more than 20,000 foreign fighters from more than 100 countries have reportedly travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight for the Islamic State (ISIL), according to the State Department.
State Department spokesperson also said that Russia decided at the last minute to expand the number of delegates attending the Countering Violent Extremism Summit in Washington, DC, and included the head of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).
“The Russians asked for assistance visas and flight clearance last night because they decided to change some of the attendees in their delegation,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said.
Violent extremism and terrorism are problems that affect all countries including Russia, Psaki said, adding that the United States and Russia have worked together on countering terrorism.
“We have worked with them [Russia] on a range of issues including countering terrorism in the past. We welcome their participation in the countering violent extremism summit,” Psaki added.
US President Barack Obama organized the three-day summit, aiming to discuss domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremism and terrorism. The summit covers key issues related to extremism, including radicalization, recruiting and motivation to commit violent acts, according to the White House.