Military intervention in Yemen a defensive move: Arab League sec-general

Ahram Online , Thursday 26 Mar 2015

Nabil El-Araby stresses that the intervention is to defend the rights of Yemenis and the legitimacy of their government

Nabil Elaraby
Arab League Secretary-General Nabil E-Araby while speaking during a meeting of the Arab League Summit in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh March 26, 2015 (Photo: snapshot State TV)

Arab League secretary-general Nabil El-Araby on Thursday stressed that the regional military intervention in Yemen was to defend the rights of the Yemeni people and the legitimacy of its government.  

"The military intervention in Yemen is a defensive act, not an aggressive one," El-Araby said in a speech on Thursday, prior to the Arab League Summit planned for 28-29 March in Sharm El-Sheikh.

Shia Houthi rebels, who have controlled the capital Sanaa since September forcing president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee, had stormed on Wednesday the southern city of Aden.

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia carried out airstrikes against Houthi rebel sites in Sanaa.

The Kingdom is backed by a coalition of nine regional allies, including Egypt, UAE and Jordan.

Four Egyptian warships have already entered the Suez Canal route on their way to the Gulf of Aden.

In his speech, the secretary-general also called on Arab League countries participating in the summit to adopt "new approaches" to solving regional crises, including the current Yemeni crisis, as well as the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the Syrian crisis and the Libyan crisis.

He stressed that the Saudi-led regional military intervention to counter the Houthi advance in Yemen followed the second article of the 1950 Arab League Joint Defence Treaty.

Hosting the Arab League Summit in Sharm El-Sheikh gives Egypt back its leading role in the region, El-Araby said.

Also on Thursday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry urged Arab League member states to create a joint Arab military force to face regional security challenges.

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