Czech Republic President Miloš Zeman, saying terrorism is "growing like a cancer," called on U.N. members Tuesday to focus on terrorism, not just the humanitarian crisis it has spawned. The Czech Republic has adamantly denied any humanitarian responsibility as tens of thousands of refugees fleeing strife in their countries have poured into Europe.
In his speech to the 70th U.N. General Assembly in New York City, Zeman largely steered clear of directly referencing Europe's refugee crisis, except to say attention should not be focused on anti-refugee protests in the Czech Republic. Instead, he pressured the General Assembly to prioritize combating terrorism -- particularly militant groups such as the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS and ISIL, that are wreaking havoc in the Middle East and North Africa. Zeman argued the international community can no longer "deny this growing process."
"The terroristic movement is growing like a cancer," he said.
Zeman said the task is too great for just one country to handle, adding the cause is in the interest of all five permanent members of the Security Council. "Nothing unites more than the common enemy: the terrorism," he said.
Militaristic actions need to be invoked in the fight against terrorism, he said.
"What we need are smaller military units equipped by drones, by helicopters, by corporations of secret services, by commanders or rangers [sic] which would eliminate the leaders of terroristic organizations, [which are] the nerve centers," he said.
Zeman said he is optimistic when he returns next year, the United Nations will have moved forward with a resolution. "I will come next year and [I know] deep in my heart my proposal will be indisputable," Zeman said.
He is expected to meet with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Mualem while at the General Assembly this week to discuss the militant groups that plague Syria, where the majority of refugees are from. His office did not confirm the meeting but told the Prague Post that Zeman will negotiate with Syrian diplomats at the conference.