41 nation Islamic Military Alliance to formally kick off

41 nation Islamic Military Alliance to formally kick off

RIYADH – The 41-nation Islamic Military Alliance against Terrorism (IMAT), in which Pakistan holds a key role, will hold its first meeting of defence ministers from member countries in the Saudi capital next week.

The defense ministers of this Saudi-led anti-terrorism alliance of Muslim countries will meet in Riyadh on Nov. 26, according to the official SPA news agency.

The meeting of the Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism aims at “strengthening cooperation and integration” among the alliance members, SPA said.

Representatives of diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia will attend the meeting, the agency said.

The 41-member bloc of all Sunni nations was launched by Saudi Arabia in late 2015 with a view to fighting terrorism. It includes countries as Turkey, Malaysia and Egypt.

SPA said the meeting would mark the “actual start” of the military alliance and coordination against extremism and terrorism.

A declaration issued by a recent Arab-US-Islamic summit in Riyadh in May unveiled that the alliance member-states were ready to deploy 34,000 troops with a view to supporting operations against terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria.

US President Donald Trump, on his first foreign trip which significantly commenced from Saudi Arabia, opened “Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh by touching a glowing orb with Saudi King Salman of and Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in May this year.

Foreign ministers and chiefs of general staffs of the member states of Saudi led Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen held a meeting Riyadh in October. The meeting discussed enhancement of integration and coordination in all humanitarian, political and military actions of the coalition to ensure continuity of goals set for coalition until legitimate government extends its sovereignty over Yemen territories.

The meeting also discussed requirements of next phase of coalition and efforts of various parties involved, in addition to its role in enhancing security and peace in the region .