Interior Ministers from a number of Arab states convened in Tunisia and discussed cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism.
Arab interior ministers from a variety of countries across the Arab world, including Egypt, Libya, the UAE, have convened in the Tunisian capital to discuss mutual regional issues, including terrorism and ways to combat it.
Elyes Fakhfakh, Tunisia’s Prime Minister, headed the event and stressed the need for a multidimensional approach to the issue of terrorism, which should be combated not only militarily, but also socially and economically, since it is a multi-layered problem.
“We affirm that solutions to tackle terrorism and all forms of organized crime cannot be reduced to a narrow security approach by the interior ministries of our Arab countries. It rather requires the adoption of a comprehensive and multidimensional approach”, stated Fakhfakh.
The Secretary General of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers, Mohammed Ben Ali Koman, underlined the misinterpretation of religion and racist ideologies as key factors in the spread of terrorism in the region. Countries such as Morocco have taken explicit measures to use religion as a tool to counter terrorism. He also stated that there is a plan to form a team of Arab experts who will detect and analyse acts of terrorism.
This meeting was the 37th to take place under the auspices of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers and apart from gathering interior ministers, it brought together representatives from the UN Counter-Terrorism Office, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, INTERPOL, the Arab League and the EU.
The main terrorist threat in the MENA region over the past few years has been represented by ISIS, which has spread the influence of its ideology to people across the region and beyond, recruiting thousands. Governments in the MENA region, including Tunisia itself, have taken direct counter-terrorism measures and have expressed their interest in mitigating the influence of extremist ideologies that have largely appealed to young people, many of whom are known to be marginalised either politically, socially or economically.