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Saudi Arabia Launches Islamic Counterterrorism Summit

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (C) poses for a photograph with chiefs of staff of a Saudi-led Islamic military counter terrorism coalition during their meeting in Riyadh November 26, 2017. REUTERS/

"Today we start the pursuit of terrorism and we see its defeat in many facets around the world, especially in Muslim countries,” he said. “We will continue to fight it until we see its defeat."

The crown prince’s words came as the Islamic State group, which sparked the creation of the alliance, has been driven out of Iraq and lost its self-described capital in Syria. However, the alliance doesn't include Iran, Iraq or Syria – and member nation Qatar did not send anyone to attend the one-day gathering amid a diplomatic standoff between Doha and four Arab nations led by the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia announced the alliance in December 2015, when the crown prince was still only the kingdom's defense minister. Since then, his father King Salman has elevated the 32-year-old prince to be next in line for the throne.

Prince Mohammed said the 40 countries in the alliance were sending a "clear signal" that they would "work together to support the military, financial, intelligence and political efforts of every member state".

Based on reporting by AP and AFP