The Arab League postponed on Thursday the formation of a much-vaunted joint military force that was intended to take on militants in such troubled spots as Libya and Iraq.
Arab defense and foreign affairs ministers were scheduled to meet in the Cairo headquarters of the League to hold final talks on a joint defense force – an idea initially floated by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi during the Arab Summit in Sharm el Sheikh last March.
Although Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan, Morocco, Kuwait and Yemen had in principle voiced their support for the joint force, a number of states had expressed their reservation about the formation of such a force, revealing divisions among the 22 members.
According to reports in local Egyptian media, the request for the postponement of the talks about the formation of the force came from the Saudi delegation.
No date for future talks was specified.
The idea as proposed by El-Sissi last March came shortly after the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL or ISIS) beheaded more than 20 Egyptian Copts captured in Libya. The much publicized executions caused an outrage in Egypt.
In late March, a Saudi-led military coalition of some Arab states (including the UAE and Egypt) began bombarding positions held by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Although the coalition has gained ground in recent weeks, at least 4,000 people have died and another one million have been displaced in the conflict in Yemen.
The UN has warned that the country is on the verge of collapse.