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Closing Declaration of the Inaugural Meeting of the IMCTC Ministers of Defense Council

(8/3/1439H) corresponding to (26 November, 2017)


Whereas the Defense Ministers of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) met in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Sunday (8/3/1439H) corresponding to (26 November, 2017), based on the declaration issued on 3 Rabi Al-Awwal 1437H (14 December 2015), that includes the announcement of the formation of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, and based on the final declaration of the meeting of the Chiefs of Staff of the member countries of this Coalition, in the city of Riyadh during the period (17-18 Jumada II, 1437 H) corresponding to (26-27 March 2016):


The Ministers wish to express their deep appreciation for the efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in forming this Coalition, and thank it for hosting the Inaugural Meeting of the IMCTC Ministers of Defense Council. They also express their thanks to His Highness the Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for presiding over this meeting, managing its proceedings, and the positive results achieved during the meeting.


In this regard, the Ministers of Defense affirm that terrorism represents a constant and growing challenge and threat to peace, security and regional and international stability, as it has transcended the borders of countries, while casting aside all values. Terrorism has become deadlier than ever before, particularly in our Islamic world, which suffers from the crimes of terrorism, leaving heavy losses in property and lives, and has shattered the dreams of broad sectors of societies trying to live in peace and tranquility.


The Ministers of Defense emphasize the resolve of their countries to coordinate and unite their efforts, to ward off the dangers of terrorism and take a stand against it. They emphasize the importance of joint efforts, organized collective actions, and comprehensive strategic planning to deal with the threat of terrorism, and put an end to those who seek to fuel conflicts and sectarianism, and spread chaos, strife and unrest within their countries.


Cognizant of the importance of activating the fight against terrorism across the various domains, the IMCTC Ministers of Defense Council have agreed on the following:


First: Combating Terrorism in the Ideology Domain

  1. The Ministers affirmed their determination to work with every possible means to confront extremism and terrorism, in all their ideological notions and perceptions, to reveal their truth. Furthermore, they plan to expose extremist misuse of legitimate texts and events through delusion, allegation, false methods and deceit. The Ministers are aware of the terrorists’ blind obsession, false thoughts, and misinterpretations of religious texts, and are acutely aware of the perils posed by ideological extremism, its ability to spread, and its profound impact on individuals and society. 
  2. The Ministers uphold their determination to address terrorism through education and knowledge, to highlight correct Islamic concepts, and to establish the truth of moderate Islam, which is consistent with human nature and common values, and peaceful and just coexistence with the global community that ensures security and prosperity.

Second: Combating terrorism in the Communications Domain

  1. The Ministers emphasize the crucial role played by the media, and the importance of embracing this channel in fighting terrorism and exposing its agenda. We will work with the media to counter terrorist propaganda, by destroying its foundations to reduce its influence. Cognizant of the seriousness of terrorist actions and its dangerous impacts, they commit to prevent the terrorists from delivering their message using the media.  
  2. The Ministers stress the importance of empowering the media to combat extremist ideology from any source, counter terrorist propaganda and symbols of extremist thought, and expose terrorist methods used to promote their deviant ideas.  The Ministers commit to direct media efforts to present the terrorists’ true nature and exposing their beliefs that call for death and destruction, and dismantling mechanisms for propagation.
  3. The Ministers stress the importance of investing in digital media platforms to raise awareness among members of society and prevent them from succumbing to terrorist messaging.

Third: Combating terrorism in the Counter Terrorist Financing Domain 

  1. The Ministers emphasize the importance of draining the sources of terrorist financing and cutting off any financial support for its operations and activities. This can be achieved by coordinating efforts and accelerating necessary measures and procedures to combat terrorist funding and shutting down the flow permanently. Monetary policies, legislation and financial controls must be developed and enforced, and improve compliance to align with international standards.
  2. The Ministers called for increased coordination and technical and security cooperation in the exchange of data and information, and the transfer of knowledge and expertise, in areas focused on combating the financing of terrorism.
  3. The Ministers stressed the importance of ensuring the adequacy and effectiveness of systems and procedures to block terrorist financing. Increased levels of awareness of the various ways terrorists finance their operations must be enhanced, in order to find the best and most successful solution to eliminate terrorist financing.

Fourth: Combating Terrorism in the Military Domain

  1. The Ministers stressed the importance of the military role in combating the threat of terrorism, enhancing security and peace in the Coalition member countries and contributing to regional and international security and peace. 
  2. The Ministers emphasize the importance of providing the necessary military capabilities to ensure that terrorist organizations are weakened, dismantled, eliminated and deprived of the opportunity to reorganize. Within the framework of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, the participation of the coalition states will be defined in accordance with each country’s capabilities and resources, as well as in accordance with each country’s desire to participate in a given military operation.
  3. The Ministers agreed on the importance of the role of the IMCTC Counter Terrorism Center in coordinating and integrating military efforts, the exchange of information and intelligence, and conducting training courses and joint exercises.

Fifth: The Coalition working mechanism

The Ministers commended the efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in leading the formation of the Coalition and agree to the following:

  1. To secure the Center headquarters for the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition in Riyadh, provided that Saudi Arabia will meet the Coalition’s needs and complete all necessary legal and regulatory requirements to enable it to carry out the tasks entrusted to its care.
  2. His Highness the Chairman of the IMCTC Ministers of Defense Council will appoint the Secretary General (President of the Center) and the Military Commander of the Coalition. The Chairman will approve the Center’s procedural rules, annual budget and regulations. The Chairman will make arrangements for the Coalition member countries to nominate their delegates to the Center. The Chairman will enable the Coalition to initiate partnerships with international organizations, highlighting its role in the fight against terrorism internationally. The Chairman will take relevant decisions he sees fit for achieving the Coalition’s objectives.
  3. The Inaugural Meeting of the IMCTC Ministers of Defense Council will meet annually and whenever necessary, under the chairmanship of His Royal Highness, to follow up on the strategies, policies, plans and programs to achieve the IMCTC’s objectives, and to review the reports submitted by the IMCTC Counter Terrorism Center, in order to pursue concerted efforts in various areas to combat terrorism.
  4. The Ministers intend to redouble their efforts to promote joint action in operations, programs and initiatives within the framework of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition; and in line with the IMCTC’s organizational structure and mechanisms.

In conclusion, the Ministers applaud the spirit of cooperation and collaboration that prevailed throughout the meeting and the alignment with the vision and positions on the need to eliminate terrorism through a unified and lasting regional and international effort that respects the principles of international law. The Ministers adopt a comprehensive and multifaceted approach to defeat the phenomenon of terrorism. They express their hopes and aspirations that the combined efforts and integrated vision will achieve the IMCTC's objectives of eliminating terrorism.