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King meets with leaders, officials as Aqaba Meetings kick off


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Saturday met with the presidents of a number of African countries and representatives of nations participating in the two-day Aqaba Meetings to discuss the global efforts to fight terrorism and extremist ideologies, especially in West Africa.
On the sidelines of the Aqaba Meetings, King Abdullah met with President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari, President of Guinea Alpha Condé, President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou, and President of Mali Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, a Royal Court statement said.
His Majesty also held meetings with US Secreary of Defence Jim Mattis, Brazilian Minister of Defence Raul Jungmann, French Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, UK Minister of State for the Armed Forces Mark Lancaster, and High Representative of the African Union Pierre Buyoya.
The Aqaba Meetings were launched by the King to maintain international and regional coordination and cooperation in the fight against terrorism within a holistic approach, and to discuss security challenges in regions around the world that are dealing with terrorism hotspots, with the aim of identifying shortcomings and coordinating efforts to fight terrorism.
 The meetings are part of His Majesty’s initiative to reach out to countries around the world and coordinate with them on this issue, since the anti-terrorism fight “must be a joint, international effort, based on close coordination and consultations, to counter the global threats of terrorism and extremism”, the statement said. 
Held with the aim of exchanging expertise and information — as well as to bolstering security and military cooperation in the fight against terrorism — the latest Aqaba Meetings feature the participation of presidents of West African countries, as well as ministers from the US, the UK and France.
Senior political and security officials from European, Latin American, and African countries, and representatives from the UN, the EU, NATO, and the African Union are also attending.
The participants also include other senior officials from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Romania, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Cyprus, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Australia, India, Indonesia, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Nigeria, Mauritania, Antigua and Barbuda, Mali, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Chad, and Burkina Faso, in addition to representatives of regional and international organisations.
Over the past two years, the Aqaba Meetings featured similar discussions held by the King with heads and representatives of a number of countries in East Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Balkans.

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