UPDATED: Arab foreign ministers agree to form joint military force

Ahram Online , Thursday 26 Mar 2015

The draft resolution is to be submitted to Arab leaders for approval at Saturday's Arab League Summit

Sharm el Sheik
Kuwait's First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, center, chairs a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Sharm el Sheik, South Sinai, Egypt, Thursday, March 26, 2015 (Photo: AP)

Arab foreign ministers agreed on Thursday to form a joint Arab military force to counter growing security threats in the region, the Arab League's chief Nabil Al-Arabi has said.

A related draft resolution is to be submitted to Arab leaders for endorsement at an Arab League summit to be held in Egypt’s coastal resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh next week.

Saudi Arabia and Arab allies conducted airstrikes on Houthi rebel sites in the Yemeni capital early on Thursday, after the Shia fighters on Wednesday entered the southern coastal town of Aden, where Yemeni President Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi had sought refuge since he fled the rebel-controlled capital last month.

The joint military force is to focus on "rapid intervention in any Arab state whose national security is threatened or faces the danger of terrorism", Al-Arabi told a press conference, adding that the unified force would be the second after one formed during the 1973 war with Israel.

The foreign ministers have asked Al-Arabi to coordinate with army chiefs from participating states to meet within a month of a decision to discuss logistics of the force.

Al-Arabi confirmed that the Yemeni president, who had left Aden for Saudi Arabia, would attend the March 28-29 summit.

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