CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt and Saudi Arabia have discussed holding a “major military maneuver” in Saudi Arabia with other Gulf states, the Egyptian presidency said, after the two countries discussed the progress of a Saudi-led campaign against Shi’ite militias in neighboring Yemen.
Egyptian naval and air forces are already participating in the campaign against Houthi militias in Yemen, and Cairo has said it would supply ground forces “if necessary”. Earlier on Tuesday, it denied reports that it had already sent troops to Yemen.
Egypt said the topic of maneuvers in the Saudi kingdom was discussed during a meeting between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi Defense Minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Cairo on Tuesday.
“It was agreed to form a joint military committee to discuss the implementation of a major strategic maneuver in the territory of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with the participation of a joint Arab force which includes troops from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states,” the Presidency statement said.
It said the security of the Gulf region and the Red Sea was a “red line” for Cairo. The statement gave no timings or details of what the maneuvers would entail.
The meeting also discussed the latest developments in the Yemen campaign, the statement said.
Reporting by Mahmoud Mourad and Sylvia Westall; Editing by Larry King