The role of the unified Arab force is to ‘fight terrorism’ – Egyptian chief of staff

CAIRO, Apr 22 (Aswat Masriya) – The proposed joint Arab force is “not a threat to anyone”, said Egypt’s chief of staff, while leading a meeting of Arab chiefs of staff on Wednesday to discuss the prospective military force.

In a speech, aired on television, Egypt’s Chief of Staff Mahmoud Hegazy said, “it has been proven beyond doubt” that a “unilateral confrontation” by states’ armed forces is “insufficient” in many cases.

Hegazy said this has created a collective need for a force that may carry out rapid intervention, if it is deemed necessary.

This intervention would not threaten the sovereignty of a country, taking place in response to a request by the state in question.

Hegazy added that the purpose of the proposed force is to “fight terrorism”.

Arab leaders agreed in principle to establishing a unified military force, during the conclusion of the Arab League summit, last month.

The chiefs of staff met today to discuss implementing the proposed force, addressing financing and tasks that must be completed.

Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Araby said during the meeting that the proposed force will not be a new military coalition and will be a multi-task force, carrying out peacekeeping missions, rescue operations, humanitarian and aid work and “rapid intervention to eradicate terrorism.”

According to the text of the decision to establish it, the proposed force “will carry out rapid military intervention and other tasks assigned to it to confront challenges threatening the security and peace of any of its members states and their sovereignty.”

It will also confront challenges “posing direct threats to Arab national security, including threats from terrorist organisations.”

Egypt backs the joint force and has been steadfast on calls to establish it, especially since launching airstrikes on militant targets in Libya in February.

Several Arab countries are currently struggling to contain a wave of militant insurgency including Syria and Iraq, where large areas have fallen under the control of Islamic State fighters. Libya and Yemen have also fallen into the turmoil gripping the region.

Source: Aswat Masriya