Muslim nations must lead in counter-terrorism - prince

Abu Dhabi - A prominent Saudi prince says Muslim countries need to take the lead on fighting terrorism.

Prince Turki al-Faisal's comments on Sunday in the Emirati capital of Abu Dhabi come as the kingdom hosts military exercises with 20 member states of a recently announced Islamic counter-terrorism alliance. Defence Ministers of the 34-nation coalition are scheduled to hold their first meeting in Saudi Arabia sometime in March.

The coalition was first announced by Saudi Arabia in December. The prince told reporters it should have been created sooner because the majority of terrorism victims are Muslims.

The coalition will have a logistical hub based in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. The kingdom's regional rival Iran, as well as Syria and Iraq, are not members of the coalition.

All three are battling the Islamic State group (ISIS).

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