Turkish Foreign Minister : ” Saudi-led coalition will not have combat forces “
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia ( Anadolu Agency + DIPLOMAT.SO) – Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Thursday that the Saudi Arabia-led anti-terror international coalition would not have combat forces.
Cavusoglu said that once it was spoken about a military coalition, “operations come to everyone’s mind.” But, the minister added: “There will be no combat force…there are misunderstandings at this point.”
However “it will have military, political and intelligence powers,” Cavusoglu told reporters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, during a visit to participate in the Extraordinary Ministerial Meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
“For an effective fight against terror, this coalition will conduct works and determine the strategies from the center,” Cavusoglu said.
Cavusoglu said that terrorism would not be coalition’s only focus. He said that the coalition members will discuss what can be done also against “Islamophobia, and all Islamophobic attacks and actions targeting Muslims”.
Cavusoglu said that Turkey supported Saudi Arabia’s initiative to establish the coalition, and Turkish bureaucrats and specialists were to discuss the way coalition would function.
Cavusoglu said that a core group would be created among the 34 countries participating in the international anti-terror coalition.
In December last year, 34 Muslim countries announced the establishment of an anti-terrorism alliance to be headquartered in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
According to the SPA, the new coalition comes within the context of an anti-terrorism agreement signed by OIC member states.
Along with Saudi Arabia, the coalition reportedly includes Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Turkey, Tunisia, Djibouti, Sudan, Somalia, Palestine, Comoros, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Maldives, Mali, Malaysia, Egypt, Morocco, Mauritania, Nigeria and Yemen, along with nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Significantly, neither Iraq nor Syria – the governments of which are both close to Iran – were listed as members.