RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia says 34 Muslim-majority nations have agreed to form a new military alliance to fight terrorism with a joint operations center based in the kingdom’s capital, Riyadh.
The announcement carried early Tuesday by the Saudi Press Agency said the Saudi-led alliance was established because terrorism “should be fought by all means and collaboration should be made to eliminate it.”
“The countries here mentioned have decided on the formation of a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism, with a joint operations center based in Riyadh to coordinate and support military operations,” the statement said.
While Saudi Arabia’s regional rival, Shiite Iran, is not part of the coalition, the alliance brings together diverse Muslim countries from several continents, including Mali, Malaysia, Pakistan, Lebanon and Egypt as well as neighboring Gulf countries such as the United Arab Emirates.
A statement from the press agency listed Palestine as one of the 34 countries participating.
Another 10 Muslim countries, including Indonesia, also expressed support for the coalition, though were not joining it.
According to the statement, the goal of the group will be “achieving integration, closing ranks and uniting efforts to combat terrorism, which violates the sanctity of people’s lives, threatens regional and international security and peace, poses a threat to the vital interests of the nation and undermines coexistence in it.”
Few other details about the alliance were included in the announcement.
The announcement comes as Saudi Arabia leads a military intervention in Yemen against Shiite rebels and is part of the US-led coalition bombing the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.
Riyadh last week hosted an unprecedented two-day gathering seeking to create a united opposition bloc for peace talks in Syria, yielding an agreement to negotiate with Assad’s regime.