Islamic coalition meeting in Riyadh against terrorism: Live coverage

Islamic coalition meeting in Riyadh against terrorism: Live coverage

The latest news from the first meeting in Saudi Arabia of the Islamic coalition against terrorism. Follow our live coverage with UAE Editor Bobby Naqvi reporting from Riyadh

 

Security cover tight in Riyadh

A tight security cover has been thrown around Faisaliya Hotel where the inaugural meeting of an Islamic coalition against terrorism is taking place in Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh on Sunday. 

Members of Saudi Royal Guard and military personnel are guarding the hotel on King Fahd Road where defence chiefs, diplomats and officials from 41 Muslim countries, including the UAE, are attending the first meeting of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition or IMCTC are gathering in Riyadh for the day-long conference. 

Security personnel deployed around Faisaliya Hotel where the inaugural meeting of an Islamic coalition against terrorism is taking place in Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh on Sunday. – Bobby Naqvi / Gulf News

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is expected to open the conference at the hotel here, according to a schedule provided by the organisers. 

After his key note address, the member countries will hold closed door sessions  to deliberate on means to counter terrorism, including terror financing and communication. 

After the session, officials of the coalition are expected to brief international media on the IMCTC’s future course of action.

Bomb-sniffing dogs and their handlers at work around Faisaliya Hotel where the inaugural meeting of an Islamic coalition against terrorism is taking place in Riyadh on Sunday. . – Bobby Naqvi / Gulf News

The conference is taking place just two days after hundreds of Friday worshippers were attacked by gunmen in Egypt’s restive North Sinai Province. The country’s deadliest attack in two years claimed 305 lives, including 27 children and 128 others were injured.

In his reaction, Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz offered condolences and said his country stands by Egypt by all means. 

In his remarks ahead of the conference, Lt. Gen. Abdulelah Al Saleh, the IMCTC acting secretary-general said: “The meeting marks the official launch of the IMCTC’s operations at our center in Riyadh.

“The center provides an open platform for willing IMCTC member countries to exchange best practices and coordinate their counter-terrorism efforts, enabling culturally appropriate regional and local solutions to counter terrorism.”

A view of the cavernous main session hall where the anti-terror coalition member countries are set to meet on Sunday in Riyadh. – Bobby Naqvi / Gulf News

 
Organisers said the conference is expected to touch upon terms of reference and future strategies of the coalition that will focus on four “counter-terrorism domains”, including ideology, military, communications and counter financing in its fight against terrorism.

 

10.55am

Saudi Central Bank governor to speak on counter terror financing

Dr Ahmad Al Kholifey, Saudi Central Bank governor, will speak on ways to counter terror financing, the coalition’s military commander General Raheel Sharif will speak on military strategies to fight terrorist groups. Sources said Sharif, Pakistan’s former army chief, is likely to play an important role in reaching out to international bodies, including NATO to build alliances. 

Flags of 41 countries participating in the anti-terror coalition conference in Riyadh. – Bobby Naqvi / Gulf News

10.09am

General Sharif on confronting terrorism

In a statement provided to media ahead of the Riyadh meeting, General Sharif said: “The biggest challenge in the 21st century, especially in the Muslim world, is confronting the dangerous phenomenon of terrorism.

[embedded content]”The IMCTC encompasses an integrated approach to coordinate and unite on the four key domains of ideology, communications, counter-terrorism financing, and military, in order to fight all forms of terrorism and extremism and to effectively join other international security and peacekeeping efforts.”

The coalition was announced in by Saudi Arabia in December 2015 “to form a unified pan-Islamic front against terrorism”. Later in March 2016, military chiefs from Islamic countries met in Riyadh and affirmed “their determination to intensify efforts in fighting terrorism through joint work according to their capabilities, based on the desire of each member country to participate in operations or programs within the IMCTC framework as per its policies and procedures, and without compromising the sovereignty of the Coalition member countries.” 
 
According to the coalition’s websitewww.imctc.org, the IMCTC’s objectives include presenting a unified front against terrorist organisations and their attempts to destabilize security and distort the image of Islam and Muslims.
 
“As an official platform for open and transparent cooperation, the IMCTC  is a coalition of willing countries that brings together those who look forward to participating in an active effort to combat terrorism. Furthermore, the IMCTC actively seeks to collaborate with international’s organisation’s efforts in countering terrorism,” the coalition’s strategic document says.

Earlier report: 41-member coalition attending

The inaugural meeting in Riyadh is attended by a 41-member pan-Islamic military coalition to counter terrorism. 

Defence ministers, diplomats and officials of 41 Muslim countries, including a delegation from the UAE which is part of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, or IMCTC, are gathering in Riyadh for the day-long conference.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is expected to open the conference at a hotel here, according to a schedule provided by the organisers on Saturday. 

The conference is taking place just two days after hundreds of Friday worshippers were attacked by gunmen in Egypt’s restive North Senai Province.

The country’s deadliest attack in two years claimed 305 lives, including 27 children and 128 others were injured. Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz offered condolences and said his country stands by Egypt by all means.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is expected to open the conference to be attended by defence ministers, diplomats and officials from 41 Muslim countries in the capital Riyadh, according to organisers.

In his remarks ahead of the conference, Lt. Gen. Abdulelah Al Saleh, the IMCTC acting secretary-general said: “The meeting marks the official launch of the IMCTC’s operations at our centre in Riyadh.

“The centre provides an open platform for willing IMCTC member countries to exchange best practices and coordinate their counter-terrorism efforts, enabling culturally appropriate regional and local solutions to counter terrorism.”

Terms of reference, strategies

Organisers said the conference is expected to touch upon terms of reference and future strategies of the coalition that will focus on four “counter-terrorism domains”, including ideology, military, communications and counter financing in its fight against terrorism.

While Dr Ahmed Al Kholifey, Saudi Central Bank governor will speak on ways to counter terror financing, the coalition’s military commander General Raheel Sharif will speak on military strategies to fight terrorist groups.

Sources said Sharif, Pakistan’s former army chief, is likely to play an important role in reaching out to international bodies, including NATO to build alliances.

In a statement provided to media ahead of the Riyadh meeting, General Sharif said: “The biggest challenge in the 21st century, especially in the Muslim world, is confronting the dangerous phenomenon of terrorism. The IMCTC encompasses an integrated approach to coordinate and unite on the four key domains of ideology, communications, counter-terrorism financing, and military, in order to fight all forms of terrorism and extremism and to effectively join other international security and peacekeeping efforts.”

The coalition was announced in by Saudi Arabia in December 2015 “to form a unified pan-Islamic front against terrorism”.

Later in March 2016, military chiefs from Islamic countries met in Riyadh and affirmed “their determination to intensify efforts in fighting terrorism through joint work according to their capabilities, based on the desire of each member country to participate in operations or programs within the IMCTC framework as per its policies and procedures, and without compromising the sovereignty of the Coalition member countries.”

Coalition of willing countries

“As an official platform for open and transparent cooperation, the IMCTC  is a coalition of willing countries that brings together those who look forward to participating in an active effort to combat terrorism.

“Furthermore, the IMCTC actively seeks to collaborate with international’s organization’s efforts in countering terrorism,” the coalition’s strategic document says.