Egypt to protect Gulf Arabs if necessary: Sisi "Egypt will not give up its brothers in the Gulf," the Egyptian President said.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

CAIRO  – (AA) Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said on Saturday that Egypt would not give up its brothers in the Arab Gulf and that it would act to protect them if necessary.

Egypt will not give up its brothers in the Gulf,” the Egyptian President said.

“We will act to protect them if necessary,” he told journalists following a meeting with top army leaders in Cairo.

He noted that his country followed a political course that sought to help everybody avoid “losses.”

Al-Sisi said Arab national security should only be protected by Arabs themselves.

He noted that the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, was an issue of “Egyptian and Arab national security.”

Egypt has sent warships to protect the strait soon after a Saudi-led coalition started attacking – from air so far – positions of the Shiite Houthi group across Yemen on March 26.

The Bab el-Mandeb Strait is important for maritime activities in the Suez Canal, Egypt’s vital watercourse, which brings the country billions of dollars in revenues collected from transiting ships every year.

Around 12 percent of the world’s trade passes through the Suez Canal.

Yemen has remained in turmoil since last September, when the Houthis overran capital Sanaa, from which they have sought to extend their influence to other parts of the fractious country.

Saudi Arabia says its anti-Houthi campaign comes in response to Hadi’s appeals for military intervention.

The Houthis, for their part, have termed the offensive as a “Saudi-American onslaught”.

Some Gulf states accuse Shiite Iran of supporting Yemen’s Houthi insurgency.

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