Saudi Arabia kicks off Islamic counter-terrorism summit
November 26, 2017 | 5:45 PM
by Agence France-Presse
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, centre, stands with chiefs of staff and defence ministers of a Saudi-led Islamic military counter terrorism coalition during their meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on November 26, 2017. Photo - Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via Reuters

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia gathered officials from 40 Muslim countries on Sunday in the first meeting of an Islamic counter-terrorism alliance, a move Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman declared a "clear signal" to extremism.

"In past years, terrorism has been functioning in all of our countries... with no coordination" among them, he said in his keynote speech.

"This ends today, with this alliance."

Prince Mohammed said the 40 countries were sending a "clear signal" that they would "work together to support the military, financial, intelligence and political efforts of every member state".

The summit is the first meeting of defence ministers and other senior officials from the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, which officially counts 41 members.

The alliance was announced in 2015 under the auspices of Prince Mohammed, whose rapid ascent since his appointment as heir to the throne in June has shaken the political scene across the region.

The alliance meeting in Riyadh brings together Muslim or Muslim-majority nations including Afghanistan, Uganda, Somalia, Mauritania, Lebanon, Libya, Yemen and Turkey.

Retired Pakistani general Raheel Sharif has been appointed commander-in-chief.

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