RIYADH: Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Prince Naif called for greater international cooperation to dry up sources of terrorism. He said terrorists are far away from the teachings of Islam.

Speaking to reporters after signing a security agreement with Germany, Prince Naif denounced the smear campaign against Saudi Arabia.

Prince Naif signed the agreement on Wednesday night with German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who wrapped up a two-day official visit to the Kingdom yesterday.

“During our talks with the German minister we have explained our concept of terrorism and we have emphasized that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam,” the prince told reporters.

He said Saudi Arabia has good cooperation with many countries, especially Arab and GCC countries, in combating terror. “We want to have positive and practical cooperation with all security agencies in the world,” he added.

Referring to latest developments in Yemen, the second deputy premier said Saudi Arabia would “stand by its Arab neighbor in its every need.”

He said the security agreement with Germany covered combating terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and crimes. “We have discussed all security issues with the German minister,” he said.

The agreement calls for exchanging information on matters of sensitive security matters, boosting cooperation in the war against terrorism and creating joint strategies to confront security challenges.

“The security pact will also give a major boost to cooperation in combating drug-trafficking, transnational organized crime and efforts to curb the menace of terrorism,” said a Western diplomat, while referring to the visit of the German delegation.

The agreement will also open new avenues for cooperation in the field of training and exchange of technical know-how.

The diplomat said the talks between Prince Naif and Schaeuble also focused on the supporting role of German Federal Police in securing the Saudi-Iraqi border.

In Germany, the federal police are responsible for guarding borders and overseeing security at airports and railway stations. “Given the chance, Germany can play an effective role in handling security matters in Iraq or along the border,” a statement released yesterday said.

Saudi and German officials are worried about insurgents’ activities along the border, it added.

The statement said the talks reaffirmed the commitments of the Kingdom and Germany to ensure peace and security in the region. The two sides have reportedly intensified contacts in recent times over security issues, including the anti-terror campaign, said the statement.

During his visit to Baghdad in February this year, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier launched a number of new projects and cooperative ventures designed to give this assistance greater momentum.

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