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Saudi-Led Islamic Military Coalition Meet In Riyadh

Smoke billows as a helicopter manoeuvres during the Northern Thunder military exercises in Hafr al-Batin, 500 kilometers north-east of the Saudi Capital Riyadh on March 10.

Military chiefs from the Saudi-led alliance against terrorism met for talks in Riyadh on March 27.

Saudi Arabia announced the formation of the 34-country alliance in December -- and followed it up with massive military exercises in late February.

Saudi Brigadier General Ahmed al-Assiri told reporters following the talks that the coalition was at the stage of "laying the foundations."

Assiri said that Riyadh has offered premises and funds for a coordination center for the new grouping.

He said the coalition would operate within the limits of "UN resolutions and recognized conventions."

He said the meeting of military chiefs paved the way for a meeting of defense ministers in the "near future."

The mainly Sunni Muslim coalition includes NATO-member Turkey and nuclear-armed Pakistan.

But Riyadh's "Islamic Military Alliance" is missing Muslim powerhouses Indonesia and Iran.

Based on reporting by AFP and SPA