Prince Saud opens U.N. Counterterrorism Center meeting in Jeddah

June 3, 2012

On behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal opened the 2nd Meeting of the Advisory Board of the United Nations Counterterrorism Center in Jeddah today, in the presence of U. N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. In a speech delivered by Prince Saud, King Abdullah stated, “One of the most important challenges facing us at the present time is the phenomenon of terrorism, whose combating is no longer a local matter confined within the limits of a state, but goes beyond that to become the goal of the international community as a whole. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has affirmed on several occasions and at international forums its condemnation and denunciation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and whoever might be its perpetrators, and has announced its full readiness to join the international efforts to combat it.”

King Abdullah warned that the threat of terrorism “can only be confronted through the international community by formulating comprehensive, integrated and supported strategies.” He praised the adoption of the United Nations Counterterrorism Strategy in 2006 by the U.N. General Assembly and the establishment of U.N. Counter Terrorism Center in September 2011, for which the Kingdom has already provided $10 million. The King noted, “The Center is supportive and essential to achieving and implementing the United Nations strategy to combat terrorism and reflects its importance. It assists in the exchange of methods for combating the causes of terrorism, speeds up the dialogue and mutual understanding among its members, and supports the development of national and regional strategies to combat terrorism.”

During his own remarks, Secretary General Ban thanked the Kingdom for its generosity, noting that King Abdullah’s support was essential in making the U.N. Counterterrorism Center a reality.

Following the meeting’s deliberations, Prince Saud and Secretary General Ban held a joint press conference. Addressing the media, the Saudi Foreign Minister reiterated the Kingdom’s multi-pronged fight against terrorism, which has utilized both security and intellectual strategies. He stressed that combating extremism is a common responsibility for all members of the international family.

For his part, Secretary General Ban highlighted some of the Center’s activities. He also praised Saudi Arabia’s effort and initiatives aimed at bringing stability to the region, citing Yemen in particular. Regarding Syria, the U.N. Secretary General observed that the situation in that country is unstable and called upon the international community to work towards a peaceful solution.

Discussing the recent turmoil in the Lebanese city of Tripoli, Prince Saud characterized what is happening there as extension of what is happening in Syria. He criticized the Syrian regime for trying to turn the conflict into a sectarian one, which threatens both Syria and Lebanon. Furthermore, he observed that the Syrian regime has agreed to a series of peace initiatives in order to buy time, having no intention of actually abiding by their terms. Prince Saud expressed hope that the U.N. Security Council will take a decisive stand to put an end to this tragedy.