Abu Dhabi: Prominent international counter-terrorism officials have met in Abu Dhabi to discuss current priorities, experiences and address challenges in improving the mutual exchanges and cooperation related to implementation of Counter Terrorism (CT) and Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) practices.

The meeting was convened by the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism of the Netherlands, NCTV, in cooperation with Hedayah, the International Centre of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism. It provided and opportunity for senior officials to not only discuss and identify areas of mutual interest, but to further strengthen implementation of CT and CVE good practices and responses to terrorism and violent extremism.

Officials discussed strategies needed for effective implementation of  CT and CVE policies and emphasised the importance of multilateral platforms such as the United Nations and the Global Counter Terrorism Forum, GCTF, in the  execution of such efforts.

The meeting also addressed current and future threats and topics of mutual interest, including the challenge of Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters, home grown terrorism, the role of social media, internet and the wider cyberspace as a recruitment tool to terrorist and violent extremist groups, the trafficking of arms and new methods of terrorist finance.

"As senior national counter terrorism officials every day we are translating policy papers into practical measures. That is why it proved to be very useful to share best practices, priorities and challenges with so many international partners. This way we can mutually strengthen national CT and CVE priorities," Dick Schoof, Chair and Co-host of the meeting and the National Coordinator for Security and Counter Terrorism from the Netherlands Ministry of Justice and Security, said.

Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the International Steering Board at Hedayah, emphasised the need for a network of CT senior officials continue to collaborate, share experiences, and challenges. Al Nuaimi also stressed the important role of Hedayah as an international a-political platform to both facilitate and support these exchanges towards implementation.