NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia has stressed the importance of efforts to strengthen international and regional cooperation with security agencies in Africa and address the root causes of terrorism, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday
The Kingdom also highlighted the need for all UN organizations to enhance cooperation with African countries by providing technical assistance, identifying gaps in capacity building, and supporting the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
The comments came from Mohammed Al-Ateeq, the acting charge d’affaires of the Kingdom’s permanent delegation to the UN, during the eighth meeting of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact Committee with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for strategic discussions on “strengthening international and regional cooperation to address the increasing terrorist threat in Africa.”
Al-Ateeq said Saudi Arabia engages in security cooperation with many countries on the continent on a large scale, especially through the exchange of information, expertise and training. He added that his country also works closely with partners worldwide to confront and combat terrorism in Africa.
He pointed out that the Kingdom contributed to the establishment of the UN Counter-Terrorism Center, the main UN agency for providing assistance to help member states build capacities through counterterrorism projects and programs in line with the four pillars of the UN’s Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
The instability of some African countries has created an environment for terrorist groups to infiltrate and illegally obtain multiple sources of funding, Al-Ateeq said, including through the exploitation of natural resources such as gold mines, the taking of hostages to hold for ransom, demands for payments in areas under their control, bribery and drug smuggling.
The Kingdom extends the hand of friendship to all African countries and is keen to enhance bilateral and collective action to support stability on the continent, along with cooperation to combat the threats of terrorism and extremism.