19 January 2015
Last updated at 10:29
Federica Mogherini: “We need an alliance, a dialogue”
The EU’s foreign policy chief has called for a broad alliance to tackle terror, including with Muslim nations, at a ministerial summit in Brussels.
Federica Mogherini said there had to be more co-operation both with Muslim countries and internally within the EU.
The summit follows gun attacks in Paris that killed 17 people and anti-terrorism raids in Belgium.
Two of the Paris gunmen cited cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, images that continue to anger the Muslim world.
A mass rally was held on Monday in the Russian region of Chechnya to protest against the cartoons.
‘Degrade and defeat’
Ahead of the Brussels talks, Ms Mogherini said: “The threat is not only the one we faced in Paris, but is also spreading in many other parts of the world, starting from Muslim countries.
“We need to strengthen our way of co-operating together first of all with Arab countries and then internally. We need to share information more, we need to co-operate more.”
Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi is attending the talks with the 28 EU foreign ministers.
Ms Mogherini said: “We will discuss with the secretary general how to increase the level of co-operation… we need an alliance, a dialogue.”
UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond echoed her call, saying: “The Muslim countries of the world are the ones who have suffered the greatest burden of terrorism and they will continue to be in the frontlines.
“We have to work closely with them to protect both those countries and the EU countries.”
Belgian soldiers patrol outside the European Council headquarters in Brussels
High on the agenda of the talks will be concerns surrounding the return of radicalised Europeans who have gone to fight in Iraq and Syria.
No decisions will be taken at the meeting but a range of options will be debated in preparation for a special leaders’ summit on terrorism on 12 February.
US officials have confirmed that US Secretary of State John Kerry will be attending talks in London about the Islamic State (IS) group.
The meeting of the members of the US-led coalition against IS will take place on Thursday and will focus on “shared efforts to degrade and defeat” the militant group.
The Brussels talks come after anti-terror raids in Belgium, France and Germany led to more than 20 people being arrested.
Belgium launched a series of raids last Thursday on a group of suspected jihadists. Two suspects were killed in a gun battle in the town of Verviers.
Prosecutors charged five of those arrested on Friday with “participating in the activities of a terrorist group”.
Several people were also arrested in the Greek capital, Athens, on Saturday.
Belgium is asking Greece to extradite one of the suspects arrested there over a possible link with the alleged Belgian plot.
Belgian police are still searching for Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the alleged leader of the cell suspected of planning to kill Belgian police officers.
No link has been established between the Belgian case and last week’s attacks in France.
Tens of thousands attend an anti-Charlie Hebdo protest in Grozny, Chechnya
Gunmen in Paris killed 12 people at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, a policewoman and four hostages at a kosher supermarket. The three gunmen involved were shot dead by police.
The attacks sparked international outrage and a huge anti-terrorism rally in Paris attended by many world leaders.
The two gunmen who attacked the Charlie Hebdo offices said they were avenging cartoons the magazine had published depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
The first issue published after the attacks then carried another cartoon of the Prophet on its cover.
This sparked angry protests in parts of the Muslim world, including Pakistan and Niger.
On Monday, tens of thousands also marched through Grozny in Chechnya in protest at the magazine, carrying signs saying “Hands off the Prophet Muhammad”.