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Egypt, Saudi Arabia agree on joint military drill

IANS |

Egypt and Saudi Arabia have agreed to carry out a major strategic military exercise in the latter’s territory, which is to be joined by other Gulf and Arab states, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said in a statement.

The statement came after a meeting between al-Sisi and the visiting Saudi Defence Minister, Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, who also held talks with his Egyptian counterpart Sedqi Sobhi, according to a Xinhua news agency report on Tuesday.

"Egypt represents one of the main and effective forces to achieve security and stability in the Middle East region," the Saudi defence minister said.

Late last month, Egypt joined a Saudi-led coalition to launch airstrikes in Yemen against the Shia Houthi rebels, who have seized several Yemeni cities since September last year, including the capital Sanaa, and had forced President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee to Saudi capital Riyadh.

Egypt is also providing naval support to the coalition, which has been airdropping weapons and equipment to the pro-Hadi tribal militia in the port city of Aden to fight the Houthis.

In spite of Russia abstaining, the UN Security Council (UNSC) voted on Tuesday in favour of an arms embargo against the Houthis and the supporters of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The resolution also imposed sanctions on the Shia group, demanding its withdrawal from the Yemeni areas it has seized.