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Terrorism should be confronted, says Saudi Arabia
Saturday August 10, 2013 6:10 PM, IANS

Two days after ruler of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, announced an unprecedented donation of $100 million to the international counter-terrorism centre under the United Nations, a prominent newspaper in the most influential Gulf and Arab nation hailed the move saying terrorism should be confronted resolutely.

In its editorial Saturday, the Arab News wrote that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques' "hard-hitting analysis in his Eid message, serves to underline to (sic) prominent role that he and the Kingdom have long played in the challenging campaign, not just against the hidden killers of Al Qaeda, but also against the distortion of Islam that lure young and impressionable people into the ranks of terror groups".

"Duped by perverse teaching into a mindless fanaticism, it is generally these credulous fools who are used as suicide bombers. The terror leaders are happy to throw away these lives while they themselves sit safe in their lairs planning the next horror against civilised society," it added.

While congratulating the people on the advent of Eid-ul-Fitr from the sacred precincts of the Grand Mosque in Mecca Thursday, King Abdullah had made a strong pitch for the global fight against terrorism and stressed that no leniency should be shown to the perpetrators of this global scourge.

"We should understand that terrorism will not disappear within a limited period. So we have to be prepared for a long fight with terrorism. Whenever we try to tighten the noose it could become increasingly aggressive and violent. But we have strong faith in God that it would be defeated," King Abdullah said in a joint message with Crown Prince Salman.

In announcing the donation, the Saudi ruler has further reaffirmed his nation's position worldwide, belying some of the misperceptions about Saudi Arabia being a backer and funder of terrorism, analysts here say.

It is no secret that Saudi Arabia too is being targetted by Islamic jihadists. The Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) that targets the Saudi monarchy is one of the most active units of the Al Qaeda network. Which is why the country's fight against terrorism is not confined to just drawing the jihadists to direct confrontation but goes way beyond that.

"The king also made it clear that the Kingdom's role in combating terrorism extends beyond the front-line confrontation with the killers, beyond crucial intelligence gathering and analysis to actually sustaining the rest of the international community in its own fight against this evil," the Arab News editorial said.

While announcing the $100-million donation, King Abdullah again called for activating the UN counter-terrorism centre.

It was King Abdullah himself who had proposed such a centre during an anti-terror conference in Saudi capital Riyadh Feb 5, 2005. Saudi Arabia had already made an initial donation of $10 million for this and, in 2011, the United Nations Secretariat was able to launch the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) within the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) Office.

Welcoming the latest contribution, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moont, said it would "greatly strengthen" the world body's capacity to assist member states through the UNCCT and other relevant UN bodies in implementing the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

The US too has applauded the Saudi gesture.

"His Majesty's generous donation, on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, demonstrates once again the Kingdom's commitment to supporting multilateral institutions and strengthening international cooperation on counterterrorism," US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement.

"With these funds, we hope that the UN Counterterrorism Implementation Task Force (UNCTITF), of which the Centre is a critical component, can intensify its work to provide countries with the long-term capacity building support they need to implement the UN Global Counterterrorism Strategy," he added.

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