The United States and 55 Muslim-majority states have signed a pact pledging to provide a 34,000-strong ‘reserve force’ for defeating ISIS in Syria and Iraq, declaring Saudi Arabia a key regional player for conducting counter-terrorism operations in the Middle East and blaming Iran for destabilizing the region.
The document was signed during the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh in which US President Donald Trump participated.
According to the signed document, the participants of the pact agreed to “establish a Middle East Strategic Alliance, for which Riyadh will play host, and in which many countries will participate to contribute to peace and security in the region and the world. The establishment and the declaration of the accession of participating countries will be completed in 2018.“
“The leaders welcomed the readiness of a number of Islamic countries to participate in the Islamic Military Coalition to combat terrorism to provide a reserve force of 34,000 troops to support operations against terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria when needed. They welcomed the progress achieved on the ground in the fight against ISIS, praising the participation of Arab and Islamic countries and their support for the International Alliance against ISIS.”
They also “welcomed the establishment of a global center for countering extremist thought to take base in Riyadh, and praised the center’s strategic objectives of combating intellectual, media and digital extremism and promoting coexistence and tolerance among peoples.“
A significant part of the document is dedicated to Iran:
Confronting the sectarian agendas and interference in other countries affairs:
The leaders underscored the importance of the current cooperation between countries, the relations based on the principles of good neighborhood, non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries and respect of their independence, sovereignty and integrity of territories whereas:
1- The leaders stressed the rejection of sectarian agendas, citing their dangerous repercussions on the security of the region and the world at large.
2- The leaders confirmed their absolute rejection of the practices of the Iranian regime designed to destabilize the security and stability of the region and the world at large and for its continuing support for terrorism and extremism.
3- The leaders condemned the Iranian regime’s hostile positions and continuing interference in the domestic affairs of other countries in a flagrant violation of the principles of international law and good neighborhood, confirming their commitment to confront that.
4- The leaders are committed to intensify their efforts to observe the security of the region and the world at large, and firmly confront the subversive and destructive Iranian activities inside their countries and through joint coordination.
5- The leaders underlined the dangerous Iranian ballistic missiles program and denounced the Iranian regime’s continuing violations for Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
In case of its realization, this effort will determine the role of Saudi Arabia as a key “counter-terrorism” part of the US in the region and contribute to creation of an anti-Iranian alliance in the Middle East.