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World

AFP
April 16, 2018
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Saudi Arabia hosts multi-nation military drills

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia concluded a month-long military exercise involving more than two dozen nations on Monday, a day after hosting an Arab summit.

The exercise on Saudi Arabia´s east coast, dubbed Gulf Shield-1, involved combat search-and-rescue drills as well as naval warfare and air operations, officials said.

Saudi King Salman presided over the closing ceremony of the drills, which he said highlighted a "unified alliance" between over 24 countries to combat military threats.

"The event is... meant to demonstrate our ability to take joint military action, the region´s readiness to support Arab unity and its capacity to deter any threats," military spokesman Abdullah Subaei was quoted as saying in a Saudi information ministry statement.

"This exercise demonstrates that we have the cooperation of friendly nations, our experience and expertise to deal with those threats."

Saudi Arabia in March 2015 launched a coalition of Arab states fighting to roll back Huthi rebels in Yemen and restore the country´s internationally-recognised government to power.

Last November, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman presided over the first meeting of an Islamic counter-terrorism alliance involving around 40 Muslim countries, as he vowed to "pursue terrorists".

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