UAE’s anti-terror strategy earns praise

Experts at symposium take stock of root causes of radicalisation and mechanisms to confront them

Abu Dhabi: Experts at the 49th symposium organised by the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) said that the UAE had realised early the dangers posed by terrorism and sought to confront it and support efforts to eliminate it.

The experts said that the UAE had sought to combat terrorism in accordance with a comprehensive strategy, while highlighting the country’s significant regional and international contributions.

The conclave held in Abu Dhabi focused on the issue of terrorism in the region and mechanisms to confront it, especially in the wake of heavy Daesh losses in Syria and Iraq and the group’s bid to carve out new areas of influence.

Dr Jamal Sanad Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the ECSSR, opened the seminar, which was attended by diplomats, military officials, scholars and journalists.

Dr Al Suwaidi highlighted the importance of the seminar in light of the increasing number of terrorist groups apart from Daesh and added that terrorism is “evil” and poses grave dangers as it claims the lives of innocent people, destroys infrastructure, and foments violent conflict across the world.

General (retired) Jehangir Karamat, former chief of army staff of Pakistan, highlighted the dangers of terrorism to regional stability and stressed that certain terrorist groups are capable of extending their reach in other countries. He made particular mention of Daesh, which has infiltrated many countries both inside and outside the Middle East and has growing numbers of recruits.

He added that terrorist groups always aim to take advantage of fragile economic and social conditions by recruiting new people. He explained that these groups focus on areas of conflict taking advantage of the absence of effective central authorities.

For her part, Raana Rahim, former Pakistani ambassador to Lebanon, spoke about the political reasons for the rise of terrorism in the region and addressed the concept of terrorism, its origins and motives.

She added that certain groups are classified as terrorist groups, such the Muslim Brotherhood which started as a charity association and became a political movement, Al Qaida, which started off as part of the jihadist movement against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, and also Daesh who had come to represent a turning point in the history of terrorism because of the violence they committed.

The participants concluded that any successful strategy to eliminate terrorism must also eliminate its political, economic, cultural and social root causes, besides improving cybersecurity and protecting the youth.

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