Arab FMs agree to form joint military force


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 Houthi-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 had left Aden for Saudi Arabia, and would attend the March 28-29 summit.