Arab summit to announce unified force to counter security threats

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) - Arab leaders at a summit in Egypt will announce the formation of a unified regional force to counter growing security threats, according to a draft of the final communique, as conflicts rage in countries such as Yemen and Libya.

The summit will also call on Iranian-allied Houthi fighters who have made rapid advances in Yemen to leave that country's capital and hand over their arms to "legitimate" authorities, said the draft, obtained by Reuters.

Working out the mechanism and logistics of the unified force, an idea floated by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, could take months. Previous similar experiments have failed to produce tangible results in the divided Arab world.

The draft resolution identified the military force as voluntary, meaning no state would be required to take part.

That may give Arab states the flexibility needed for intervention in countries such as Yemen, where Saudi Arabia patched together a 10-nation Arab coalition against Houthi fighters and launched military strikes on Thursday.