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Yemen crisis, terrorism top Arab League agenda
Saturday March 28, 2015 11:31 PM, IANS

Leaders of Arab League nations on Saturday gathered in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh for a two-day summit to deliberated upon the Yemen crisis, terrorism and security challenges being faced by the various countries.

King Salman with Sisi
[King Salman with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in Sharm el-Sheikh. (Photo: AFP)]

The crisis in Yemen and terrorism topped the agenda on the first day of the 26th Arab League meeting.

In their speeches at the opening session, the Arab leaders reaffirmed that a military action in Yemen was "inevitable" to protect the country's sovereignty after the Shia Houthi group seized parts of it, including the capital Sanaa.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi called a military action in Yemen inevitable after interference by a "foreign power." Sisi did not name that power, but apparently he was referring to Iran, Xinhua news agency reported.

Sisi, who chairs this year's meeting, said Arabs have the right to deter any hostile actions against any Arab country, referring to a recent Arab military operation led by Saudi Arabia against the Houthis, who have forced President Abd Rabbou Mansour Hadi to flee the country.

Before the launch of the summit, Sisi held a tripartite meeting with Saudi King Salman bin Abdel-Aziz and Yemeni President Hadi, the state TV reported.

Hadi urged the Saudi-led coalition forces which have been pounding the Houthi terrorists to go on with their airstrikes until its surrender and defeat.

Yemen has been gripped by widespread violence in the southern region since early February, raising fears that the impoverished country is slipping into a civil war.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdel-Aziz vowed that the military operation will not stop until Yemen becomes stable and safe.

He also highlighted full support for the Yemeni president and his legitimate government.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed his support for the Saudi-led operation in Yemen and for President Hadi as the legitimate leader.

"I take note that military action has been undertaken at the request of Yemen's sovereign and legitimate leader, President Hadi, " Ban said.

Sisi told the delegates that his country welcomes the formation of an Arab united military force to protect the Arab national security.

"Egypt welcomes the draft resolution submitted by the Arab foreign ministers to the summit regarding the formation of a joint Arab force to be a tool to face the challenges facing the Arab national security," he said.

"Terrorism represents the basic tool for ruining the entities of states," Sisi told the summit entitled "Challenges Facing Arab National Security," which is attended by 20 Arab monarchs and presidents.

A wave of radical Islam terrorism, led by Islamic State (IS) group, has spread in many Arab countries including Libya, Iraq and Syria, where extremist Islamic militias have full control over large territories.

Arab League Secretary General Nabil El-Arabi warned of the threats that terrorism pose to the national security in the region, stressing the necessity to challenge terrorism in the region.

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