First Published: 2005-02-08

Saudi meet okays proposal for anti-terror center

Center will exchange, pass information instantly to prevent terror attacks before they occur.


Middle East Online

Riyadh Declaration did not say where the center would be based

RIYADH - A counter-terror conference on Tuesday approved a Saudi proposal to set up an international center to combat terrorism, according to a declaration due to be issued at the end of the meeting.

The "Riyadh Declaration" did not say where the center would be based, but the head of one delegation at the four-day meeting in the Saudi capital had earlier said it would be set up in Switzerland.

The declaration said participants "support and endorse a proposal by Saudi Arabia's crown prince at the opening session of the conference for the establishment of an international center to combat terrorism."

The center, staffed by counter-terrorism experts, would "exchange and pass information instantly in a manner compatible with the speed of events and prevent them (terror attacks) before they occur," it said.

Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, de facto ruler of the oil-rich kingdom, on Saturday opened the conference attended by some 50 countries and international organizations with a call for the establishment of a global center to combat and preempt terrorism.

Since May 2003, Saudi Arabia has been battling a wave of terror blamed on sympathizers of Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network, which was behind the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

Shootings and bombings in the kingdom have claimed 90 civilian lives, according to official figures. Thirty-nine members of the security forces and 92 militants have also been killed in the violence.


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