SHARM EL SHEIKH, Egypt — Arab foreign ministers meeting in Egypt agreed Thursday on the formation of a joint military force, the Arab League's chief and the Egyptian foreign minister said.

The plan forms part of a draft resolution to be submitted to Arab leaders at a weekend summit in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

The ministers "agreed on an important principle, to establish the force," Arab League secretary general Nabil al-Arabi told a news conference.

"This is the first time that a force will be created and work under the name of Arab states," he said, describing the move as "historic."

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said the agreement was unanimous.

The rapid response force envisaged by the Arab League will work to counter "terrorists," Arabi told AFP in a recent interview.

The issue has been brought to the fore by Saudi-led airstrikes overnight Wednesday against Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen.

Other Arab states in the Gulf and Egypt have said they are participating in the campaign.

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