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Arab ministers hold consultative meeting in Egypt ahead of Sharm summit

Latest Arab strikes on Houthi rebels in Yemen are expected to dominate the upcoming summit in southern Sinai

Ahram Online , Thursday 26 Mar 2015
Nabil Elaraby
Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby (R) arrives for the venue for a meeting of the Arab League Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, in the South Sinai governorate, south of Cairo, March 26, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)
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Arab foreign ministers held a consultative meeting on Thursday ahead of their preparatory session for the upcoming Arab League summit, as several Arab states announced war against rebels in Yemen.

Ministers discussed the latest developments on the Arab ‘Firmness Storm’ operation in Yemen, launched by Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies against Houthi fighters in Yemen, state news agency MENA reported.

Egypt said earlier on Thursday it is providing political and military support for the operation.

Jordan, Morocco and Sudan have also expressed their readiness to participate.  

Saudi Arabia and four other Gulf states, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, said they have "answered the call of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to protect Yemen and its people from the aggression of the (Shia) Houthi militia."

Meanwhile, AFP reported Arab states are set to consider a joint military force at the upcoming summit held in Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh, a proposal that was put forward earlier in March by Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.  

Gulf broadcaster Al-Arabiya TV reported that the Saudi Kingdom was contributing as many as 150,000 troops and 100 warplanes to the operation. 

The Arab Summit will be held on 28-29 March in Sharm El-Sheikh.

Egypt’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday that 19 Arab states have sent confirmation they would attend the summit scheduled for Saturday.

Qatar, which has locked heads with Egypt since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, but is part of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, has confirmed it would attend.

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