CAIRO (AA) Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said Sunday that leaders participating in an Arab League summit in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh have adopted the formation an joint military force to safeguard Arab regional security.
“[Army] Chiefs-of-Staff of Arab countries will meet to discuss the details of the joint Arab force,” al-Sisi said at closing session of the Arab summit.
“The decision to form the joint Arab force came after we succeeded in diagnosing the grave causes of the challenges that faces Arab regional security,” he added.
Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi, for his part, said that the operations of a Saudi-led coalition against Yemen’s Shiite Houthi group will continue until they “end the Houthi coup.”
Al-Arabi stressed that the Arab League will “undertake whatever is necessary, including coordinating the formation of a joint Arab force, to face the challenges threatening the Arab region’s security.”
He also urged religious institutions in the Arab world to renew their discourse.
Several Arab states have joined the Saudi-led offensive which kicked off late Wednesday with a string of airstrikes against the positions of the Houthi group in Yemen, including some in capital Sanaa.
Saudi Arabia said the strikes were in response to calls by Hadi for military intervention to “save the people from the Houthi militias.”
Joining joint Arab force ‘optional’: Arab League chief
Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi said Sunday that contribution to a proposed joint Arab force is “optional.’
“There was consensus among all Arab states to adopt the principle of the creation of joint Arab force, but it is optional for the Arab countries to participate,” al-Arabi told a press conference following the end of the Arab League summit in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, for his part, said that a four-month timeframe was set to create the force and lay down the mechanism of its intervention and tasks.
“The more the number of participating countries, the stronger the force will be,” the top Egyptian diplomat said.
“The joint force will be deployed when an Arab state comes under terrorist or foreign attack,” he added.
Several Gulf countries accuse Shiite Iran of supporting the Houthi insurgency.
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