Joint military drills kick off in Egypt with Gulf, Jordanian forces

CAIRO, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) — The “Arab Sheild 1” joint military drills kicked off in Egypt on Sunday with the participation of forces from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Kuwait and Jordan, Egyptian military spokesman said in a statement.

The military exercises, held at a military base in northern Egypt as well as nearby air and naval training areas in the Mediterranean, will last until Nov. 16, according to Egyptian Military Spokesman Tamer al-Refaie.

The “Arab Shield 1” will be one of the highest level military drills in the Arab region because of the use of new and advanced weapons and equipment, which will help maximize expertise of participant forces, said the statement.

It described the “Arab Sheild 1” as “the first purely joint Arab military drills to be held in Egypt.”

Egypt’s Mohamed Naguib Military Base, where the drills are held, is considered the largest such base in the Middle East and Africa.

The Egyptian military spokesman stressed that the drills are held to promote military cooperation between Egypt and fellow Arab states and boost their military relations to maintain security and stability in the region.

Egypt annually holds military exercises with Arab, African and western states to boost military collaboration and exchange military expertise.

In September, Egypt held “Bright Star” war games with U.S. troops. The “Bright Star” maneuvers were resumed in 2017 after eight years of suspension.

In early August, Egypt concluded “Eagle Response 2018” joint naval exercises in the Red Sea with forces from the U.S., Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Earlier in June, a joint naval and air drills involving Egypt, Greece and Cyprus were held along Egypt’s Mediterranean coast.

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