Arab League AL members agreed to form a joint Arab military force to counter security threats

Defence & Security News - Middle East
 
Arab League AL members agreed to form a joint Arab military force to counter security threats.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday said that the Arab League (AL) members agreed on the formation of a joint Arab military force to counter growing security threats. The idea of forming a multinational Arab force was initiated by Sisi to face common challenges that threaten Arab national security. His initiative came after a video was circulated online in February showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Copts in Libya by affiliates of the Islamic State militant group.
     
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday said that the Arab League (AL) members agreed on the formation of a joint Arab military force to counter growing security threats. The idea of forming a multinational Arab force was initiated by Sisi to face common challenges that threaten Arab national security. His initiative came after a video was circulated online in February showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Copts in Libya by affiliates of the Islamic State militant group. Saudi Arabia has mobilized 150,000 troops and some 100 fighter jets to rout Iran-linked fighters that have taken over swathes of neighboring Yemen.
     
"In response to the responsibility imposed by the grave challenges facing our Arab nation and threatening its resources, the Arab leaders have decided to approve the principle of forming an Arab military force," President Sisi said in his closing speech of the 26th Arab Summit held in Egypt's seaside city of Sharm el-Sheikh and attended by 20 monarchs and presidents.

Sisi added that a high-level team is to be formed and supervised by the chiefs of staff of the participant states to study all necessary aspects for the establishment of the joint military force.

The Arab foreign ministers said in the draft of their final communique that "the joint military force would immediately intervene to counter challenges that threaten safety and security of the member states, based on request of the concerned country."

According to the final declaration of the two-day Arab summit concluded on Sunday, forming such a force is an available option "to defend the Arab national security in confrontation of the ongoing challenges and the rapid developments particularly those related to groups' practices of violence and terrorism."

AL Secretary-General Nabil al-Araby said Sunday that the decision is "important and urgent" due to the ongoing unrests and threats facing the Arab world that require collective response.

"Participation in the joint force is optional, just like participation in anything else," the AL chief clarified in a joint press conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukry.

Araby noted that the Arab military chiefs of staff will be invited for a meeting within one month to start the necessary discussions and procedures for forming the joint front.

The results of the meeting, he continued, are to be presented to the Arab leaders by a committee comprising the current summit's president Egypt, the former one Kuwait and the next one Morocco for approval

The recent Arab agreement on the joint military force comes while a Saudi-led military coalition enters its fifth day in bombing targets of the Shiite Houthi militants in Yemen, a move made without a prior permission from the AL or the United Nations.

The move was made following a prior request of fleeing Yemeni President Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi who urged Arab military intervention to prevent Houthis' advance in Yemen.

The Saudi-led coalition reiterated that its operation is meant to protect the legitimate government of President Hadi.
 

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