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Saudis to Host Anti-Terror Conference

Saudi Arabia plans to host an international conference to combat terrorism next year. The conference is slated to take place in the capital, Riyadh, in the first week of February 2005.

The aim of the planned conference is to “exchange information and reports and to benefit from practical scientific methods to fight [terror] and its links to money laundering as well as drug and arms smuggling,” Assistant to the Saudi Foreign Minister Nazzar Bin ‘Ubeid Madani told the United Nations General Assembly.

The conference is also planned to provide an opportunity to study the culture and mindset of terrorists and the structure of terrorist organizations, Madani said.

A British and a French citizen were killed in the past two weeks in the kingdom; both are thought to be victims of terror.

Madani said official invitations have already been sent to the various states which have encountered terror in the past or are currently contending with it.

He said his country rejects terror of any sort and is cooperating with the international community to eradicate this “global evil.”

Saudi Arabia has been the focal point of the global fight against terror since 9/11, as 15 of the 19 perpetrators of those attacks against the United States hailed from the kingdom.

In addition, Saudi Arabia has been contending with terrorism on its own soil as terrorists are seeking to undermine the monarchy and intimidate foreigners both in the kingdom and in the bordering Iraq.

Saudi Arabia has been suffering from a spate of attacks against local and foreign targets since May 2003.