x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Counter-extremism research centre to open in Abu Dhabi

The centre, funded by the UAE government and other members of the Global Counter Terrorism Forum, is the first of its kind.

ABU DHABI // The first International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism will open its doors in the capital this October, a senior Foreign Ministry official said today.

The new centre will be dedicated to the study, research and development of counter-extremist policies.

"This centre is the first of its kind and will have three main objectives," said Faris Al Mazroui, the assistant foreign minister for security and military affairs.

"It will conduct discussions and initiate cooperation between member states on issues of violent extremism, it will research and offer studies on the subject and it will train experts and stakeholders as well as offer members capacity building to counter the threat," he said.

The centre will not, however, be a base for intelligence gathering and will conduct no outward missions or operations.

"We are not a security centre; we are a research and study centre," he said.

The centre is funded by the UAE government and other members of the Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF).

The GCTF is a global consortium made up of 28 members, including the United States, China, Russia, South Africa and India, as well as representatives from the European Union and the United Nations.

The group is currently meeting in Abu Dhabi to discuss communication plans, staffing and evaluation plans for the new centre.

amustafa@thenational.ae