G20 Puts Terrorism Center-Stage

G20 Puts Terrorism Center-Stage G20 Puts Terrorism Center-Stage

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged world leaders on Saturday to prioritize the fight against terrorism as they gathered for a summit in southwestern Turkey, saying the Paris attacks claimed by the so-called Islamic State terrorists showed the time for words was now over.

The worst bloodshed in France since the end of World War II cast a pall over preparations for the two-day summit of the Group of 20 major economies that began on Sunday and is attended by heads of state, including US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Reuters reported.

French President Francois Hollande has pulled out of the meetings but told Erdogan by phone that his foreign and finance ministers would attend, Turkish presidential sources said.

At least 129 people were killed as bombers and gunmen went on a rampage across the French capital overnight, targeting a concert hall, restaurants, cafes and a sports stadium.

“We are now at a point where words end in the fight against terrorism. We are now at a stage where this should be put at the forefront,” Erdogan told reporters ahead of the summit, also due to be attended by leaders from Europe, China, Japan, Canada, Australia and Brazil, among others.

Although G20 usually focuses on economic issues, the fight against terrorism was already expected to be on the agenda. The summit comes two weeks after a suspected bomb attack on a Russian airliner killed 224 people in the Sinai Peninsula.

It also comes just over a month after two suspected Islamic State suicide bombers blew themselves up at a peace rally in the Turkish capital Ankara, killing more than 100 people in the worst such attack in the country.

Events such as the attacks in Paris made it crucial for the world’s top economies to stand shoulder to shoulder at the summit, China’s vice finance minister said.

Speaking in Vienna, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said there was growing consensus among global powers that they had to work together to confront IS.