Pakistan confirms joining Saudi counter-terror alliance

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Thursday confirmed joining the Saudi Arabia’s 34-nation coalition against terrorism, saying that the extent of participation was yet to be decided.

During weekly press briefing in Islamabad, the Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah said that further details to decide the extent of participation in counter-terrorism activities of the alliance were pending. “Yes, we are part of it (coalition). We have decided and we welcome it. We are participating in this alliance against terrorism but the only thing that needs to be decided is the extent of our participation in various activities of the alliance,” the Foreign Office spokesman said.

“Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy close, cordial, and brotherly relations. Both countries condemn terrorism and cooperate in the efforts to eliminate this menace,” he said.

It is pertinent to mention here that the 42nd Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in Kuwait this year had reiterated its commitment to relevant the UN and OIC resolutions on combating terrorism and extremism and called for joining regional and international efforts to fight terrorism and extremist thought.

Besides Saudi Arabia, the alliance includes Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Turkey, Chad, Togo, Tunisia, Djibouti, Senegal, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Gabon, Somalia, Guinea, the Palestinian National Authority, the Union of the Comoros, Cote d Ivoire, Kuwait, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Maldives, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Yemen.

Iran, Saudi Arabia‘s arch rival for influence in the Arab world, was absent from the states named as participants, as proxy conflicts between the two regional powers rage from Syria to Yemen.

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