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Defense ministers of 41 nation IMAFT meet to mark 'real beginning' of military alliance

Sunday November 19, 2017 11:41 AM, News Network

Islamic Military Alliance

The defense ministers of the 41-nation Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism (IMAFT) will meet in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Nov. 26. As reported by Saudi Press Agency - SPA, the meeting would mark the “real beginning” of the military alliance.

With around one-third of the Arab world currently embroiled in conflict caused mainly by terror groups, the meeting is a significant step in the countries’ cooperation to fight the menace of terrorism in the Islamic world, according to Arab News.

“The meeting of the defense ministers aims to strengthen cooperation and integration between the Islamic Military Alliance members,” Arab News said citing a report published by Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on Saturday.

The meeting will also be attended by ambassadors and senior diplomats representing their countries in Saudi Arabia, alongside top Saudi and IMAFT officials, said the SPA report.

The meeting will discuss a host of subjects including ways to establish the IMAFT as a major bloc to address security challenges and terrorism issues.

The defense ministers will formally discuss plans and proposals to unify the efforts of the Islamic alliance and promote coordination with other international agencies.

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

The IMAFT was launched by Saudi Arabia in late 2015 with a view to fighting terrorism. On January 6, 2017 Pakistan’s former chief of army staff, retired Gen. Raheel Sharif was named as the IMAFT’s first commander-in-chief.

The IMAFT, which has set up a joint operations center in Riyadh, was established to serve as a platform for security cooperation, including the provision of training, equipment and troops, and the involvement of religious scholars to offer advice on how to deal with extremism.

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