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Saudi urges Afghanistan to join 34-nation military alliance

Saudi urges Afghanistan to join 34-nation military alliance

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Dec 16, 2015 - 12:20

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Saudi Arabia has invited Afghanistaninfo-icon to join a newly-formed 34-nation military alliance of Muslim countries meant to combat terrorism.

On Tuesday, the kingdom announced that 34 mainly Islamic nations had joined the new military block to fight extremism and terrorism in the Islamic worldinfo-icon.

According to a joint statement, Qatar, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistaninfo-icon, Gulf Arab states and African Islamic states are part of the coalition aimed at protecting Islamic countries from terrorist groups and organizations irrespective of their sect and origin.

In this regard, Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabani and Saudi Ambassador in Kabul Abdul Rahman Al Ghasib held a meeting here and discussed Afghanistan’s inclusion in the alliance, a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said on Wednesday.

The Saudi envoy told Rabbani that Afghanistan should be part of the alliance. Rabbani acknowledged Saudi officials had earlier discussed the alliance with the Afghan government. He said the Afghan government would decide soon to join the collation and other related issues.

But the Pakistani government said it was surprised when Saudi Arabia named it as part of the military alliance without first getting its consent.

Talking to journalists in Islamabad, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry said he was surprised to read the news that Saudi Arabia had named Pakistan as part of the alliance.

He said he had asked the country’s ambassador in Riyadh to get a clarification from Saudi Arabia on the matter.

nh/ma

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