“Our meeting comes in activation of the historical decision made by Arab leaders at Sharm El-Sheikh summit to protect joint Arab national security,” said General Mahmoud Hegazy, Egypt's Chief-of-Staff.
This force is not directed against any side and that is why it is highly appreciated at the regional and international levels, Hegazi said at the opening session of the first meeting.
Internal fighting or growing terrorist practices in any Arab country cannot be neglected under the misconception that they will not affect the other Arab countries directly or indirectly, he added.
Senior military officials will supervise a team of high-profile military experts in studying all factors and procedures for the formation of the combined force including its framework and required budget "within four months of the Arab summit decision".
In late March, President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi announced that Arab leaders approved the establishment a joint Arab military force to face growing terrorism and security threats troubling the region.
Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Araby said the force is to be “multi-functional”, capable of immediate intervention to combat terrorism, assisting in peacekeeping missions, securing humanitarian aid operations, protecting civilians in addition to cooperation in national security issues.
He noted that the Arab military force will be established in accordance with the Arab League and the UN charters and that it is not against any state.
Chiefs from 18 Arab countries took part in the meeting.
Photo: A general view of the start of the Arab Chiefs-of-Staff meeting in Cairo at the Arab League headquarters, April 22, 2015. (Reuters)