Maldives, Saudi coalition discuss boosting counter-extremism cooperation

Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC)'s Secretary-General Major General Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Moghedi (L) with Maldivian Defense Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi (R) on January 24, 2022. (Photo/Defense Ministry)

Maldivian Defense Ministry has engaged in discussions with the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) established by Saudi Arabia on reinforcing cooperation in efforts to counter terrorism and violent extremism. 

IMCTC’s Secretary-General Major General Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Moghedi, who is on an official visit to Maldives, paid a courtesy call on Defense Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi on Monday morning. 

The meeting took place at the Maldives National Defense Force headquarters in Male’ City. 

At the meeting, Al-Moghedi reassured Mariya that the coalition would extend its full cooperation to the Maldivian government’s efforts to prevent and counter terrorism and violent extremism, through avenues such as the provision of well-qualified Islamic scholars to better educate the public on religious issues and the provision of anti-terror response equipment. 

Meanwhile, Mariya reaffirmed the full support of the Maldivian government to national and international counter-terrorism efforts, under President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's 'zero tolerance’ policy on terrorism and violent extremism. 

She noted the ongoing deployment of MNDF officers at the IMCTC's Counter Terrorism Center in the Saudi capital Riyad, since January 2020, having extended the initial one-year term of service. 

The 41-member strong IMCTC was established in December 2015, with the primary objective of protecting Muslim countries from all terrorist groups and terrorist organizations irrespective of their sect and name, and coordinating counter terrorism efforts among countries. 

Monday’s meeting was also attended by National Counter Terrorism Center’s Director General Brigadier General Zakariyya Mansoor, Military Secretary to the Minister of Defense Brigadier General Abdul Matheen Ahmed, Commander of Maldivian contingent at IMCTC Colonel Mohamed Mukhthar, and Principal Director of MNDF's Department of International Defense Cooperation Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed Shareef.