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Arab leaders agree to form unified force

Arab leaders agree to form unified force

Cairo: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday said that Arab League (AL) member states have agreed on the formation of a joint Arab military force to counter growing security threats.

A high level committee will be formed to start implementation of the joint Arab force decision, Sisi said.

In his speech on the final day of the two-day Arab summit held in Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Sisi added that the heads of the Arab armies will soon meet to discuss the mechanism of forming the unified force.

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

Membership in the force would be voluntary, according to the summit's final declaration.

Prior to the announcement of the declaration, Saudi Arabia formed an Arab coalition on Thursday without getting the permission of the Arab League or the United Nations Security Council, and carried out airstrikes against the Shia Houthi group which has seized parts of Yemen including its capital Sanaa.

The Houthi said that their actions are to fight against the expansion of Salafism in Yemen, and for the defence of their Shia community from widespread and systematic discrimination. The Yemeni government in turn accused them of intending to overthrow the government to build a Shia country.

The idea of forming the multinational force was initiated by the Egyptian president to face common challenges that threaten Arab national security.

Back in 1950, Arab League member states signed a Joint Arab Defence and Economic Cooperation Treaty to counter the expansion of Israel. However, the Joint Arab Agreement has been frozen since it was signed.

Meanwhile, Arab League Secretary General Nabil Al-Araby on Sunday said all options were open to coordinate Arab efforts and plans to form a unified military force to defy the challenges in the region as well as protecting the Arab national security.

Al-Araby said the Arab national security had been subjected to many threats.

He urged the international community to support the Arab efforts in fighting terrorism and take necessary measures to dry the resources of terror groups.

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