Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Saturday slammed the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, as an “evil” terrorist group, saying that his Muslim-majority country is ready to join the fight against the Sunni militant group. Najib made the comments in an opening speech of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit.
The 10-nation Asean summit, followed by a series of nine other summits involving Asia-Pacific countries, will be held in Malaysia’s capital city Kuala Lumpur. U.S. President Barack Obama is also scheduled to be present at the summits. The high-profile events come amid several extremist attacks around the world, some of which were claimed by ISIS.
"This is how Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King won the hearts and minds of their enemies. They won by transforming their foes into friends," Najib said, according to the Associated Press (AP).
Some of the recent attacks include bombings and assaults in Paris and Beirut, and the bombing of the Russian airliner Metrojet in Egypt. The latest attack came Friday when gunmen held dozens of people at a Radisson hotel in Mali's capital Bamako.
"The perpetrators ... do not represent any race, religion or creed. They are terrorists and should be confronted as such, with the full force of the law," Najib reportedly said. "Malaysia stands ready to provide any help and support that we can, and be assured that we stand with you against this new evil that blasphemes against the name of Islam.”
Several countries have joined a U.S.-led coalition to conduct operations against ISIS strongholds in Iraq and Syria.
Following the Metrojet airliner bombing and the Paris attacks, Russian and French authorities have intensified airstrikes in the Syrian city of Raqqa, bombing several ISIS hideouts.