Saudi Arabia on Wednesday donated $100 million to the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) to help combat terrorism.
“Terrorism is an evil that must be eradicated from the world through international efforts,” Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel al-Jubeir said during a ceremony at the United Nations in the presence of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
“The [UNCCT] is the only center in the world that has the legitimacy to combat terrorism,” added al-Jubeir.
Al-Jubeir was joined by Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.N. Abdullah Al-Mouallimi who said that the UNCCT combats the kind of thinking “that stands behind terrorism.”
Ban said that the donation was timely considering the emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) which he said posed a threat to the region.
Al-Jubeir said Riyadh was at the forefront of the war against terrorism adding that “the religion of Islam is innocent of the activities of terrorists.”
“The kingdom gives aid to countries in and outside the region to help combat terrorism,” said Al-Mouallimi.
The UNCCT was established in 2011 within the U.N. counter-terrorism implementation taskforce with the objective bolstering U.N. counter-terrorism expertise.
The United States, Germany and Britain have also donated to help run the U.N. center.
Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist, columnist and author, said the center was “verbally” established years ago and today’s donation was part of Riyadh’s push to seeing it being fully realized.
“Riyadh is trying to push for the establishment of the center that was received verbally years ago but it did not materialize,” Khashoggi told Al Arabiya News.
Khashoggi said that while Saudi Arabia would spare no effort in setting up the center and try to bring as many countries to it, Riyadh needed to release more information on the center.
“What we need is to study terrorism, root causes of terrorism, the mindset of terrorists, we need to study that in order for us to find a solution … we need to spend good money on research” he said in a phone interview.
Speaking to Al Arabiya News Channel, Mohammed Abou Rumman, a Amman-based researcher in the affairs of Islamic groups, predicted that the aid would be used to “generate greater efforts” in studying the nature of these groups in addition to how to deal with extremist organizations.