At a time when the focus is on development and reform efforts in Saudi Arabia - of the economy, investment, and society - as well as enhancing citizens’ quality of life while developing a clear and prominent political role in the region, the Kingdom is also focused on another important matter. Saudi Arabia has not forgotten that the threat of terrorism still looms.
The second meeting of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition defense ministers was held in Riyadh recently, under the theme: “Combating Terrorism: A Shared Responsibility," which was chaired by Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi Defense Minister who heads the council.
During the meeting, the Saudi Defense Minister emphasized that the "continued Israeli aggression" against the Palestinians demands a unified stance by the coalition's member states and that they all condemn "Israeli violations in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank," stressing the "must immediately end" the aggression in line with the decisions of the extraordinary joint Arab-Islamic summit in Riyadh. This is not a casual remark but a sign of awareness of the risks that the Gaza war poses in terms of fueling terrorism in the region. Saudi Arabia understands this very well. Despite all the efforts it has made to ensure development, prosperity, and progress in all fields, Saudi Arabia has not overlooked the threat of terrorism. Riyadh is well aware of the kind of region it is located in and the threats that terrorism poses to it, and it is thus at the forefront of the fight against terrorism.
Saudi Arabia is driven by a clear vision, "Vision 2030." It follows a clear approach and sees development as an integrated effort, fundamental to which is the fight against terrorism. In November 2020, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gave an important notable speech. In it, he said: “In 2017, I pledged to eradicate extremism immediately, and we have actually launched a serious campaign to address its causes and deal with this phenomenon,” he said. “In one year, we eliminated an ideology that took 40 years to create... "Today, extremism is no longer acceptable in Saudi Arabia. We do not find it on the surface, and it has been ostracized, hidden, and isolated," he added, promising that "Nevertheless, we will continue to confront any manifestations, behaviors, and ideas of extremism."
Underlining this commitment and clear vision, Prince Khalid bin Salman chaired the second meeting of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition and affirmed that "The task is immense and the aspirations are high. It demands converging our efforts, integration, cooperation, and partnership with various countries of the world, as well as international bodies and organizations
That is evident to anyone observing our region and following its struggle with terrorism. Thus, Saudi Arabia is keen on the security and stability of the region. The Crown Prince has stated that the prosperity of Saudi Arabia is linked to the prosperity of its neighbors, which was also underscored by the counter-terrorism meeting chaired by the Saudi Defense Minister. Saudi Arabia announced the allocation of 100 million riyals for the Islamic Military Coalition's initiatives, in addition to supporting 46 training programs within the coalition's fields of operations, ideological, media, and military, as well as its efforts to curb terrorism financing.
Accordingly, this meeting serves as a reminder of Saudi Arabia's clear vision and its firm commitment to eradicating extremism and combating terrorism. It will do so through Arab, Islamic, and international cooperation; as there can be no stability or prosperity in the region without security and a successful fight against terrorism. That is why the Riyadh conference was successful.