Egypt's military chief of staff heads to Saudi Arabia

Ahram Online , Saturday 26 Mar 2016

Major General Mahmoud Hegazy will participate in a conference of chiefs of staff aiming to enhance military and security cooperation on counterterrorism between members of the Saudi-led Islamic coalition

Egypt's military chief of staff Major General Mahmoud Hegazy headed to Saudi Arabia Saturday for a two-day official visit to attend a conference for chiefs of staff of the Islamic military coalition in Riyadh, Egypt's military spokesperson said in a statement.

"The conference will tackle many issues related to military and security cooperation between Islamic countries, such as the international war on terror," the statement read.

In December 2015, Saudi Arabia announced the formation of a 34-state Islamic military coalition to "combat terrorism", including Arab countries such as Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and other Arab Gulf countries, together with Islamic countries Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan and some African states.

The announcement cited "a duty to protect the Islamic nation from the evils of all terrorist groups and organisations, whatever their sect and name, which wreak death and corruption on earth and aim to terrorise the innocent."

Shia Muslim Iran, Sunni Saudi Arabia's archrival for influence in the Arab world, was absent from the states named as participants, as proxy conflicts between the two regional powers rage from Syria to Yemen.

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