Tags: Middle East | arab | leaders | agree | unified | force | yemen

Arab Leaders Agree to Form Unified Military Force

Sunday, 29 Mar 2015 07:51 AM

Arab leaders agreed in principle to form a joint military force to confront growing regional instability, as a Saudi-led coalition pressed its bombing campaign against Yemeni rebels with alleged links to Iran.

The decision, announced at the close of an Arab League meeting in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh, capped a two-day session dominated by the Yemen crisis, the chaos in Libya and the mounting threat posed by militants.

Arab chiefs of staff will discuss the details of the joint force, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said in reading out the closing statement. Arab League Secretary General Nabil El-Arabi told reporters the military chiefs will be invited to meet within a month, and a specific timeframe will be set to map out the force’s formation.

The idea has long been touted by Arabs, though regional rivalries have repeatedly stymied efforts to set up such a force among the 22 member nations of the league. El-Sisi has been promoting the idea for months, in part amid Arab frustration about a lack of decisive international action to intervene in Libya.

“This idea is driven by the desire of some countries in the region to mitigate the risk of political instability that appeared in the past 4 years,” said Kamel Abdallah, a researcher at the Cairo-based Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies. The operation in Yemen “highlighted the need for a permanent intervention mechanism,” he said by phone.

Historically, bilateral alliances have been much more enduring and effective than region-wide ones, he added. “The details of the new Arab force, its command structure and operation mechanisms, will determine its viability,” Kamel said.

--With assistance from Salma El Wardany in Cairo.

To contact the reporters on this story: Tarek El-Tablawy in Cairo at teltablawy@bloomberg.net; Ahmed Feteha in Cairo at afeteha@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net Amy Teibel

© Copyright 2017 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

 
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Arab leaders agreed in principle to form a joint military force to confront growing regional instability, as a Saudi-led coalition pressed its bombing campaign against Yemeni rebels with alleged links to Iran.The decision, announced at the close of an Arab League meeting in...
arab, leaders, agree, unified, force, yemen
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2015-51-29
Sunday, 29 Mar 2015 07:51 AM
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