Arab defense, foreign ministers to ratify joint Arab force protocol in Cairo
Arab League's headquarters in Cairo - REUTERS
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CAIRO: Foreign and defense ministers from Arab states are to meet in the Arab League (AL) headquarters in Cairo Thursday to ratify a draft protocol for a joint-Arab force, Al-Ahram reported.

The Arab states participating in the proposed joint force remain unknown; meanwhile Iraq has expressed reservations to the notion.

Besides Egypt, six Arab countries (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan, Morocco, Kuwait and Yemen) have already agreed to participate in the proposed force, Al-Ahram reported, citing diplomatic source within the AL.

“The meeting aims to implementing the outcome of the 26th Arab League summit held in Sharm al-Sheikh in March,” Arab League deputy chief Ahmed Ben Helli was quoted by Youm7 late July.

The protocol is the result of two meetings held by the chiefs of staff of Arab armies in Saudi Arabia and Cairo on April 4 and 21, respectively. It was then submitted to Egypt for joint consultation with the Arab Troika (Egypt, chairman of the Arab Summit, Kuwait, previous chair of the summit, and Morocco, the next chair) along with other Arab states, according to Al-Ahram.

On March 29, Arab leaders agreed in Sharm el-Sheikh Summit to form a joint Arab military force to “face the challenges and protect Arab National Security,” according to the conclusion statement of the summit.

Sisi’s first call to establish the force followed the killing of 20 Egyptian Copts by Islamic State (IS) group in Libya in February. Egypt launched retaliatory airstrikes at IS targets in eastern Libya in collaboration with the Tobruk-based Libyan government.

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