Egypt’s National Defence Council (NDC) decided Thursday to prolong the country’s military involvement in the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen for another year.
The meeting was chaired by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi with the attendance of Parliamentary Speaker Abdel Ali Abdel Aal, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, and the ministers of Interior, Finance, and Defence.
Egypt said it is only contributing naval ships in the conflict and denied that there are any Egyptian troops involved on the ground.
The council agreed on extending “the participation of the required elements of the armed forces in an abroad mission to defend the Egyptian and Arab national security in the area of the Arabian Gulf, the Red Sea and the Bab El-Mandab Strait”, according to a statement from the presidency.
In addition, the NDC meeting, which usually convenes during emergency cases or at wartime, discussed the domestic security situation and the Sinai insurgency in particular.
Beginning in March 2015, Saudi Arabia conducted airstrikes within Yemen, targeting locations controlled by Houthis, including Sana’a, Yemen to re-establish the “legitimacy” of the government of President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, who is the Saudi-recognised ruler of Yemen.
Since the start of the strikes against Houthi-held positions, nearly 5,700 people have been killed, many of them civilians.
Hadi, backed by Gulf countries, mainly Saudi Arabia, has been diplomatically active in Egypt and has considered Egypt as a key regional partner since Egypt gained membership in the UN Security Council, which came into effect at the beginning of 2016.