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Arab Nations Are Joining Forces to Create an Elite Army

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Egyptian soldiers are seen in military vehicles in Alexandria, Egypt on November 28, 2014. (Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — Egypt's president says Arab leaders meeting at a summit have agreed to the principle of creating a joint Arab military force in the face of the "challenges" facing the region.

Egyptian soldiers are seen in military vehicles in Alexandria, Egypt on November 28, 2014. (Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi made the comment Sunday during the closing session of a two-day Arab summit in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh.

El-Sissi says a high-level panel will work under the supervision of Arab chiefs of staff to work out the structure and mechanism of the force.

Already, a Saudi-led coalition is staging airstrikes against positions of Shiite rebels in Yemen and their allies. However, it is unlikely that all 22-member nations of the Arab League will join the proposed force.

Explore the Economist's map of the Arab League below:

Egyptian officials say the proposed force would be made up of roughly 40,000 elite troops and backed by jets, warships and light armor.

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