Egypt to join military maneuver with Saudi and Gulf states
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi receives congratulations from Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz after becoming president. (AFP/File)
Egypt is set to take part in a major strategic maneuver with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, an Egyptian presidential statement said on Tuesday.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi met with Saudi Defence Minister Mohammad Bin Salman on Tuesday in Cairo to discuss the latest Arab airstrikes, led by Saudi Arabia, on Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Egypt is taking part in the Arab military offensive in Yemen with naval and air forces, but no ground troops.
El-Sisi said his country “would always help its brothers and defend Arab rights,” according to the statement, adding that “security of the Gulf is a red line for Egypt and an integral part of its national security.”
The upcoming maneuver is expected to take place on Saudi territory.
Meanwhile, Arab League Secretary-General Nabil El-Arabi said invitations have been extended to Arab army commanders for a meeting in April to look at forming a joint Arab military force, endorsed by the Arab summit in March, state news agency MENA reported on Tuesday.
In September 2014, Houthi fighters took over several cities in Yemen, including the capital Sanaa, a development which prompted Saudi Arabia and regional allies in late March to carry out airstrikes against them to halt their advance.