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Saudi Arabia

Coordination vital to crush terrorism

RIYADH: Military chiefs from Muslim nations have pledged to dry up terrorists’ resources, a Saudi military spokesman said on Sunday.

Brig. Gen. Ahmad Al-Assiri said the representatives of the newly-formed Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition — made up of 34 Muslim countries — discussed “ideological, media, financial and military” aspects to combat terrorism during their first meeting in Riyadh on Sunday.
He also said the attendance of 39 Muslim nations, not all of which were members of the coalition, “sends a strong message on the importance and nature of the alliance,” adding that such force is needed in the face of “Daesh recreating Muslims and Arabs to put them in confrontation with the world.”
Al-Assiri said the officials met to discuss a “unified” strategy to degrade terrorism, and it is based on “proposed initiatives.”
“Today’s meeting is to lay the foundation stone for the coalition,” he said, adding that the meeting “is about proposed initiatives. Today we did not discuss any individual cases.”
He, however, said: “Saudi Arabia has presented a paper to follow the resources of terrorism funding.”
The spokesman emphasized that the coalition will work according to “international law and standards,” dismissing that any country “would take a unilateral decision.”
“Sovereignty is respected,” he reiterated.
“States that want a military intervention in their countries would lead the mission.”
While many of the Muslim states in the meeting — including Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UAE — are also part of the US-led coalition against Daesh, the Islamic Alliance would not only target the extremist group but “other terrorist groups in a wider sense.”
The meeting, considered the first of its kind, aims to coordinate efforts among the 34 Muslim countries involved in the alliance.
The coalition was announced in December by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a bid to establish a unified Muslim body to fight terrorism.
The deputy crown prince met separately on Sunday with the chiefs of staff of the countries participating in the military alliance.
During the talks, he emphasized the importance of coordinating the strategic efforts among the Islamic countries in confronting and countering terrorism.
The coalition started through the establishment of a joint operations center in Riyadh.

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