Pointing out that it would be unwise to disclose plans to combat security threats in the region, since the perpetrators would be forewarned, Stuart said: “The fact has to be faced that the people who pose a threat to our security do not call a press conference or issue communiqués saying when and where they are going to undermine our security. There is always a surprise element in these matters.
“Governments of the region, therefore, have to be wise in that regard, since we are in a defensive position as distinct from an offensive position, and we cannot telegraph all the world to hear and to see what strategies we are putting in place to protect this region and its people. But, we all have to start from the position of course, that the primary responsibility of any government is to protect its people and to keep its borders safe.”
Stuart declared that if a government could not effectively protect its people, then “it is good for nothing and therefore, could not command the confidence or respect of its people”. Regional security and the threat of the Islamic State of Iran and Syria (ISIS) was one of the key agenda items down for discussion at the conference.