A meeting of the defense ministers of a Saudi-led anti-terrorism alliance of Muslim countries kicked off in Saudi capital Riyadh on Sunday.

Held under the theme “Allied Against Terrorism”, the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) meeting was opened by Saudi Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohamed bin Salman.

The meeting “will send a strong message about the importance of coordination against terrorism,” bin Salman told participants.

The defense ministers are expected to discuss means of fighting terrorism and drying up its finances.

The 40-member bloc was launched by Saudi Arabia in late 2015 with a view to fighting terrorism. It includes countries as Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia and Egypt.

Sunday’s meeting marks the “actual start” of the the military alliance and coordination against extremism and terrorism.

A declaration issued by a recent Arab-U.S.-Islamic summit in Riyadh in May unveiled that the alliance member states were ready to deploy 34,000 troops with a view to supporting operations against terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria.

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