Egypt's Arab military force proposal referred to Arab League Summit

Ahram Online , Tuesday 24 Mar 2015

The summit is set for March 28 and 29 in Egypt's coastal city of Sharm El-Sheikh

Arab League
Foreign ministers of the Arab League take part in an emergency meeting at the League's headquarters in Cairo March 9, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's suggestion to form a joint Arab military force would be discussed on Saturday during the Arab League Summit, deputy chief of the Arab League Ahmed Ben Helli said on Tuesday.

In a meeting on Tuesday, Arab League permanent delegates decided to refer the matter to heads of state at the summit, expected to take place on March 28 and 29 in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh.

Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has repeatedly called for a joint Arab military force, as well as international support, to "fight terrorism" in the wake of the Islamic State militant group beheading of 20 Egyptian Copts in Libya in February.

Ben Helli said that, on Monday and Tuesday, Arab League delegates discussed seven draft projects to be presented to the Arab foreign ministers on Thursday.

Draft projects included confirming commitment to the Arab Peace Initiative, putting a timeline to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Other drafts reiterated political and economic support to Lebanon and its government, as well as confirmed that the Israeli occupation of Syrian Golan Heights continues to pose threat to the world's peace and security.

Earlier in March, Arab League secretary-general Nabil El-Araby called for establishing a joint Arab military force to fight terrorism and protect civilians.

On Monday, Yemeni foreign minister Riyadh Yaseen called for Gulf Arab military intervention in Yemen to stop territorial advances by Houthi fighters, who control the capital and other northern cities and have been fighting the forces of Yemeni president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

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