Biden kicks off White House summit on countering violent extremism

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Joe Biden kicked off a three-day White House summit on countering violent extremism by lauding the U.S. “melting pot” of assimilating immigrants, a model the administration believes Europe needs to emulate more.

The summit, which started Tuesday and brings together local officials from across the country and ministers from around the world, follows recent shootings in Copenhagen and Paris that have galvanized Western resolve against such extremist attacks.

“We have to ... engage our communities and engage those who might be susceptible to being radicalized because they are marginalized,” Biden said.

“Societies have to provide an affirmative alternative for immigrant communities, a sense of opportunity, a sense of belonging that discredits the terrorist’s appeal to fear, isolation, hatred, resentment,” he said.

The White House believes Europe is especially vulnerable to such attacks because immigrants are often less integrated into societies there.

“I’m not suggesting ... that I think America has all the answers here. We just have a lot more experience,” Biden said.

President Barack Obama will address the summit on Wednesday and Thursday.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Ken Wills