Arab military chiefs discuss joint force

CAIRO, Apr 22 (INP): Military leaders of Arab States met in the Egyptian capital on Wednesday to discuss the creation of a joint force to deal with regional crises and combat terrorism.

Arab League Chief Nabil Elaraby opened the meeting by saying that the force is not meant to be an “army against any country” but a “partnership” among Arab nations.

A Saudi Press Agency report said the meeting would discuss the operational procedures and mechanisms of action required to create a common Arab strength and balance and composition.

The creation of such a force has been a long time goal that has eluded Arab nations in the 65 years since they signed a rarely used joint defense pact.

The issue came up again last month when Gulf allies led by Saudi Arabia, along with Jordan, Egypt and Morocco, launched an airstrikes campaign in Yemen against Iran-backed Shiite rebels who seized much of the country and forced the president to flee abroad.