Saudi Arabia urges unity in global counter-terrorism meet

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Saudi Arabia hosts on Saturday an international counter-terrorism conference alongside the United Nations in a bid to examine ways to combat terrorism.

A senior Saudi official told an international conference on security on Saturday that the “terrorist” threat remains and urged global cooperation to combat it.

“The danger of terrorism and terrorists still persists and affects several countries,” Prince Turki bin Mohammed al-Saud of the foreign ministry told delegates at the opening of the two-day event.

“We must face up to it using all means and at all levels, local, regional and international.

“Terrorism threatens us all, without exception,” Prince Turki said, calling for global action to “eradicate terrorist plans through coordination between specialized centers in the struggle against terrorism.”

Some 50 countries are represented at the gathering in Riyadh, which has been organized in conjunction with the United Nations.

In 2005, Saudi Arabia proposed creating in its capital an international anti-terrorism center, a proposal that was approved in September 2011 by the U.N. General Assembly.

Riyadh has pledged to finance the center for three years at a cost of $10 million (7.5 million euros).

Between 2003 and 2006, the ultra-conservative Gulf kingdom was targeted by a wave of attacks claimed by the extremist Al-Qaeda network, prompting a harsh crackdown by security forces.

Al-Qaeda franchises remain active in the region, especially in Iraq and Yemen where the Saudi and Yemeni branches of the network have united to form Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

In August 2009, a suicide bomber from Yemen failed in an attempt to kill Saudi security chief Prince Mohammed bin Nayef al-Saud.

The Riyadh conference hosts representatives from the 21 member states of the UNCCT Advisory Board, in addition to other participants from the U.N., the European Union, the Saudi government and 28 global centers active in combating terrorism.

The two-day conference will hold four sessions that aim to tackle the essential strategies to combat terrorism and measures needed to prevent it. In addition to measures needed to be taken by states to counter terrorism and strengthen the United Nation’s role in this regard.

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