The 23rd Arab Conference recommended the importance of strengthening the Arab cooperation relations and security cooperation in facing terrorism and limiting its repercussions in the Arab region.
At the conclusion of its works, the conference, which was held virtually and organized by the General Secretariat of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers, called for sustaining all measures that would reduce the recruitment of children by terrorist groups, and agreed to establish a team of Arab experts to be tasked with monitoring, exchanging and analyzing the information on the terrorist threats.
The conference also requested the General Secretariat to continue its efforts to enhance the cooperation with the regional and international organizations concerned with combating terrorism in order to achieve the common goals, and to coordinate with the anti-terrorism project in the Middle East and North Africa to organize a Euro-Arab workshop on using the digital currencies in financing terrorism and means to confront it.
The conference was held on 11-12 March with the participation of representatives from Arab Interior ministries responsible for combating terrorism, the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), the Europol Organization, and Naif Arab University for Security Sciences (NAUSS).
Furthermore, the conference discussed topics related to the experiences of member states in confronting terrorist acts, the use of digital currencies in financing terrorism, the recruitment of children to carry out terrorist acts, as well as the opinions of the member states on the recent challenges facing counter terrorism in the Arab region.
Dr. Mohammed Ali Koman (photo), Secretary General of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers, affirmed that the challenges arising from the Coronavirus pandemic and its implications have doubled the volume of tasks assigned to the security agencies, including ensuring the implementation of the measures taken in this regard aimed at preserving the societies’ public health.
In a speech delivered on Thursday at the opening session of 23rd Arab Conference of Officials Responsible for Combating Terrorism at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers in the Tunisian capital, Koman said that “under the current circumstances, it was not surprising that terrorist organizations would exploit the security apparatus’s focus on carrying out their tasks to rearrange their ranks and restructure their groups.”
Despite the ongoing health challenges resulting from the pandemic, Dr. Koman said that the security agencies have been fulfilling their duties in confronting terrorist organizations and thwarting their criminal plans, stressing the Council’s keenness to ensure that this pandemic does not affect anti-terrorism activities, and to sustain a continued pan Arab cooperation as well as cooperation between the Council and other regional and international organizations active in this field.
Koman pointed out that the General Secretariat held several meetings remotely during the pandemic, while other had to be postponed due to the fact that these meetings needed physical attendance, particularly those relevant to the framework of the joint path with the United Nations Office for Counter-Terrorism in order to develop an Arab strategy to combat terrorism. As such, he said, all concerned parties agreed to extend this path for an additional year.
According to the Secretary General, the conference’s agenda will be discussing a number of important issues, including the emerging challenges facing the fight against terrorism in the Arab region, the exploitation of crypto currencies in financing terrorism, the recruitment of children and dealing with returning terrorist fighters, as well as the establishment of a team of Arab experts to monitor terrorist threats and implement an immediate analysis of terrorist activities.