Tony Blair delivers speech in Washington on Islamist extremism

Tony Blair delivers speech on Islamist extremism. Credit: Reuters

Former PM Tony Blair delivers a speech in Washington on Islamist extremism saying defeating so-called Islamic State, also known as Daesh, was 'only a necessary beginning'.

Mr Blair welcomed the "important" decision by MPs to authorise British action against Islamic State (IS) in Syria, claiming European forces had to lead the response to the "threat at our door" and "within our home".

He said said defeating IS in Iraq, Syria and Libya was part of a wider strategy which also included tackling Islamist ideology.He warned that a continued failure to recognise the scale of the challenge would lead to terrorist attacks "worse that those in Paris".

Delivering the Kissinger Lecture at the Library of Congress in Washington, Mr Blair said "force alone will not prevail" and "the Islamist ideology has also to be confronted".

Mr Blair outlined a five-point plan, including defeating IS and destroying its so-called caliphate; forging a coalition of nations willing to take on jihadist extremists wherever groups attempted to gain a foothold; confronting the ideology; supporting academics and theologians who were tackling extremism; and seeking a wider engagement in Middle East