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Middle East:: Arab League summit wraps up with plan for pan-Arab force

Arab leaders have agreed to try to form a joint military force to tackle regional crises. Saudi Arabia is already leading a coalition of Arab countries that have been conducting airstrikes against rebels in Yemen.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi (pictured above), who hosted the two-day Arab Summit at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, told the final session of the gathering that the leaders had agreed in principle to form the pan-Arab force. He said a high-level committee would be formed to work out the details of implementing the force.

Other Egyptian officials said it was to include up to 40,000 elite troops backed up by fighter jets and warships. However, it wasn't immediately clear how many of the Arab League's 22 member states were prepared to contribute to the proposed force.

Much of the discussion over the past two days focused on Yemen, which the elected president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, fled late last week, before traveling to Sharm el-Sheikh.

With Shiite Muslim Houthi forces advancing on President Hadi's power base of Aden in the south of the country, Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia, along with several other Arab nations, launched a bombing campaign against the rebels four days ago. So far though, there was little evidence that the air campaign had stopped the Houthi advance.

Read more:: Arab League summit wraps up with plan for pan-Arab force | News | DW.DE | 29.03.2015

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