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League of Arab States
جامعة الدول العربية
Jāmiʻat ad-Duwal al-ʻArabīyah
""Flag of the Arab League
""Emblem of the Arab League
""Location of the Arab League
Administrative center "Cairo, "Egypt a
Official languages
"Demonym "Arabs
Type "Regional organization
"Ahmed Aboul Gheit
"Ali Al-Daqbaashi
Legislature "Arab Parliament
22 March 1945
• Total area
13,132,327 km2 (5,070,420 sq mi)
• 2015 estimate
• Density
27.17/km2 (70.4/sq mi)
"GDP ("PPP) 2016 estimate
• Total
$6.484 trillion ("4th)
• Per capita
"GDP (nominal) 2011 estimate
• Total
$3.526 trillion
• Per capita
Time zone ("UTC+0 to +4)
  1. From 1979 to 1989, "Tunis, "Tunisia.
  2. Syrian Arab Republic Suspended.

The Arab League ("Arabic: الجامعة العربيةal-Jāmiʻah al-ʻArabīyah), formally the League of Arab States ("Arabic: جامعة الدول العربيةJāmiʻat ad-Duwal al-ʻArabīyah), is a "regional organization of "Arab states in and around "North Africa, the "Horn of Africa and "Arabia. It was formed in "Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: "Kingdom of Egypt, "Kingdom of Iraq, "Transjordan (renamed "Jordan in 1949), "Lebanon, "Saudi Arabia, and "Syria.[3] "Yemen joined as a member on 5 May 1945. Currently, the League has "22 members, but "Syria's participation has been suspended since November 2011, as a consequence of government repression during the "Syrian Civil War.[4]

The League's main goal is to "draw closer the relations between member States and co-ordinate collaboration between them, to safeguard their independence and sovereignty, and to consider in a general way the affairs and interests of the Arab countries".[5]

Through institutions, such as the "Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) and the Economic and Social Council of the Arab League's "Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU), the Arab League facilitates political, economic, cultural, scientific, and social programmes designed to promote the interests of the "Arab world.[6][7] It has served as a forum for the member states to coordinate their policy positions, to deliberate on matters of common concern, to settle some Arab disputes and to limit conflicts such as the "1958 Lebanon crisis. The League has served as a platform for the drafting and conclusion of many landmark documents promoting economic integration. One example is the "Joint Arab Economic Action Charter, which outlines the principles for economic activities in the region.

Arab League of states establishment memorial stamp. Showing flags of the 8 establishing countries: Kingdom of Egypt, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Mutawakkilite Kingdom (North Yemen), Syrian Republic, Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Lebanese Republic

Each member state has one vote in the League Council, and decisions are binding only for those states that have voted for them. The aims of the league in 1945 were to strengthen and coordinate the political, cultural, economic and social programs of its members and to mediate disputes among them or between them and third parties. Furthermore, the signing of an agreement on Joint Defence and Economic Cooperation on 13 April 1950 committed the signatories to coordination of military defence measures. In March 2015, the Arab League General Secretary announced the establishment of a Joint Arab Force with the aim of counteracting extremism and other threats to the Arab States. The decision was reached while Operation Decisive Storm was intensifying in Yemen. Participation in the project is voluntary, and the army intervenes only at the request of one of the member states. The growing militarization of the region and the increase in violent civil wars as well as terrorist movements are the reason behind the creation of the JAF, financed by the rich Gulf countries.[8]

In the early 1970s, the Economic Council of the League of Arab States put forward a proposal to create the Joint Arab Chambers of Commerce across the European states. That led, under the decree of the League of Arab States no. K1175/D52/G, to the decision by the Arab governments to set up the "Arab British Chamber of Commerce which was mandated to "promote, encourage and facilitate bilateral trade" between the Arab world and its major trading partner, the United Kingdom.



Following adoption of the Alexandria Protocol in 1944, the Arab League was founded on 22 March 1945. It aimed to be a regional organisation of Arab states with a focus to developing the economy, resolving disputes and coordinating political aims.[9] Other countries later joined the league.[10] Each country was given one vote in the council. The first major action was the joint intervention, allegedly on behalf of the majority Arab population being uprooted as the state of "Israel emerged in 1948 (and in response to popular protest in the Arab world), but a major participant in this intervention, Transjordan, had agreed with the Israelis to divide up the Arab Palestinian state proposed by the "United Nations General Assembly, and Egypt intervened primarily to prevent its rival in "Amman from accomplishing its objective.[11] It was followed by the creation of a mutual defence treaty two years later. A common market was established in 1965.[9][12]


Joining dates of member states; the Comoros (circled) joined in 1993.
     1940s      1950s      1960s      1970s

The Arab League member states cover over 13,000,000 km2 (5,000,000 sq mi) and straddles two continents: "Africa and "Asia. The area largely consists of arid deserts, such as the "Sahara. Nevertheless, it also contains several highly fertile lands like the "Nile Valley, the "Jubba Valley and "Shebelle Valley in the "Horn of Africa, the "Atlas Mountains in the "Maghreb, and the "Fertile Crescent that stretches over "Mesopotamia and the "Levant. The area comprises deep forests in southern "Arabia and parts of the world's longest river, the "Nile.

Member states[edit]

The "Charter of the Arab League, also known as the Pact of the League of Arab States, is the founding treaty of the Arab League. Adopted in 1945, it stipulates that "the League of Arab States shall be composed of the: independent Arab States that have signed this Pact."[13]

Starting with only six members in 1945, the Arab League now occupies an area spanning around 14 million km² and counts 22 members, and 4 observer states. The 22 members today include three of the largest African countries ("Sudan, "Algeria and "Libya) and the largest country in the "Middle East ("Saudi Arabia).

There was a continual "increase in membership during the second half of the 20th century, with an additional 15 Arab states being admitted. "Syria was suspended following the 2011 uprising. As of 2016, there are a total of 22 member states. The Arab League member states are as follows:

and 4 observer states :

On 22 February 2011, following the start of the "Libyan Civil War and the use of military force against civilians, the Arab League Secretary-General, "Amr Moussa, stated that Libya's membership in the Arab League had been suspended: "the organisation has decided to halt the participation of the Libyan delegations from all Arab League sessions".[15] That makes Libya the second country in the League's history to have a frozen membership. Libyan leader "Muammar Gaddafi declared that the League was illegitimate, saying: "The Arab League is finished. There is no such thing as the Arab League".[16][17] On 25 August 2011, Secretary-General "Nabil Elaraby announced it was "about time" Libya's full member status was restored. The "National Transitional Council, the partially recognised interim government of Libya, sent a representative to be seated at the Arab League meeting on 17 August to participate in a discussion as to whether to readmit Libya to the organisation.[18]

The "Arab Parliament recommended the suspension of member states "Syria and "Yemen on 20 September 2011 over persistent reports of disproportionate violence against regime opponents and activists during the "Arab Spring.[19] A vote on 12 November agreed to the formal suspension of Syria four days after the vote, giving Assad a last chance to avoid suspension. Syria, Lebanon and Yemen voted against the motion, and Iraq abstained.[20] There was a large amount of criticism as the Arab League sent in December 2011 a commission "monitoring" violence on people protesting against the regime. The commission was headed by Mohammad Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi, who served as head of Omar al-Bashir's military intelligence, while "war crimes, including "genocide, were allegedly committed on his watch.[21][22][23] On 6 March 2013, the Arab League granted to the "Syrian National Coalition Syria's seat in the Arab League.[24] On 9 March 2014, the pan-Arab group's secretary general "Nabil al-Arabi said that Syria's seat at the Arab League would remain vacant until the opposition completes the formation of its institutions.[25]

Politics and administration[edit]

Headquarters of the Arab League, "Cairo.
Administrative divisions in the Arab League.

The Arab League is a political organization which tries to help integrate its members economically, and solve conflicts involving member states without asking for foreign assistance. It possesses elements of a state representative parliament while foreign affairs are often dealt with under UN supervision.

The Charter of the Arab League[5] endorsed the principle of an "Arab homeland while respecting the "sovereignty of the individual member states. The internal regulations of the Council of the League[26] and the committees[27] were agreed in October 1951. Those of the Secretariat-General were agreed in May 1953.[28]

Since then, governance of the Arab League has been based on the duality of supra-national institutions and the sovereignty of the member states. Preservation of individual statehood derived its strengths from the natural preference of ruling elites to maintain their power and independence in decision making. Moreover, the fear of the richer that the poorer may share their wealth in the name of "Arab nationalism, the "feuds among Arab rulers, and the influence of external powers that might oppose Arab unity can be seen as obstacles towards a deeper integration of the league.

Mindful of their previous announcements in support of the Arabs of "Palestine the framers of the Pact were determined to include them within the League from its inauguration.[29] This was done by means of an annex that declared:[5]

At the Cairo Summit of 1964, the Arab League initiated the creation of an organisation representing the Palestinian people. The first "Palestinian National Council convened in "East Jerusalem on 29 May 1964. The "Palestinian Liberation Organization was founded during this meeting on 2 June 1964. Palestine was shortly admitted in to the Arab League, represented by the PLO. Today, "State of Palestine is a full member of the Arab League.

At the "Beirut Summit on 28 March 2002, the league adopted the "Arab Peace Initiative,[30] a Saudi-inspired peace plan for the "Arab–Israeli conflict. The initiative offered full normalisation of the relations with "Israel. In exchange, Israel was required to withdraw from all "occupied territories, including the "Golan Heights, to recognise Palestinian independence in the "West Bank and "Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital, as well as a "just solution" for the "Palestinian refugees. The Peace Initiative was again endorsed at 2007 in the Riyadh Summit. In July 2007, the Arab League sent a mission, consisting of the "Jordanian and "Egyptian foreign ministers, to Israel to promote the initiative. Following "Venezuela's move to expel Israeli diplomats amid the "2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, "Kuwaiti member of parliament "Waleed Al-Tabtabaie proposed moving Arab League headquarters to "Caracas, "Venezuela.[31] On 13 June 2010, Amr Mohammed Moussa, Secretary-General of the Arab League, visited the "Gaza Strip, the first visit by an official of the Arab League since Hamas' armed takeover in 2007.

In 2015, the Arab League voiced support for "Saudi Arabian-led military intervention in Yemen against the "Shia Houthis and forces loyal to former President "Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was deposed in the "2011 uprising.[32]


No. Date Host Country Host City
"1 13–17 January 1964  "Egypt "Cairo
2 5–11 September 1964  "Egypt "Alexandria
"3 13–17 September 1965  "Morocco "Casablanca
"4 29 August 1967  "Sudan "Khartoum
5 21–23 December 1969  "Morocco "Rabat
6 26–28 November.1973  "Algeria "Algiers
"7 29 October 1974  "Morocco "Rabat
"8 25–26 October 1976  "Egypt "Cairo
"9 2–5 November.1978  "Iraq "Baghdad
10 20–22 November 1979  "Tunisia "Tunis
11 21–22 November 1980  "Jordan "Amman
12 6–9 September 1982  "Morocco "Fes
13 1985  "Morocco "Casablanca
"14 1987  "Jordan "Amman
"15 June 1988  "Algeria "Algiers
16 1989  "Morocco "Casablanca
17 1990  "Iraq "Baghdad
18 1996  "Egypt "Cairo
19 27–28 March 2001  "Jordan "Amman
"20 27–28 March 2002  "Lebanon "Beirut
21 1 March 2003  "Egypt "Sharm el-Sheikh
22 22–23 May 2004  "Tunisia "Tunis
23 22–23 March 2005  "Algeria "Algiers
"24 28–30 March 2006  "Sudan "Khartoum
"25 27–28 March 2007  "Saudi Arabia "Riyadh
"26 29–30 March 2008  "Syria "Damascus
"27 28–30 March 2009  "Qatar "Doha
"28 27–28 March 2010  "Libya "Sirte
"29 27–29 March 2012  "Iraq "Baghdad
"30 21–27 March 2013  "Qatar "Doha[33]
31 25–26 March 2014  "Kuwait "Kuwait City[34]
32 28–29 March 2015  "Egypt "Sharm El Sheikh[35]
"33 20 July 2016  "Mauritania "Nouakchott
"34 23–29 March 2017  "Jordan "Amman[36]
"35 15 April 2018  "Saudi Arabia "Dhahran


The Joint Defence Council of the Arab League is one of the "Institutions of the Arab League.[37] It was established under the terms of the "Joint Defence and Economic Co-operation Treaty of 1950 to coordinate the "joint defence of the Arab League "member states.[38]

The Arab League as an Organization has no military Force, like the UN or EU, but at the 2007 summit, the Leaders decided to reactivate their joint defense and establish a peacekeeping force to deploy in South Lebanon, Darfur, Iraq, and other hot spots.

At a 2015 summit in Egypt, member nations agreed in principle to form a joint military force.[39]

Emergency summits[edit]

No. Date Host Country Host City
"1 21–27 September 1970  "Egypt "Cairo
"2 17–28 October 1976  "Saudi Arabia "Riyadh
3 7–9 September 1985  "Morocco "Casablanca
4 8–12 November 1987  "Jordan "Amman
5 7–9 June 1988  "Algeria "Algiers
6 23–26 June 1989  "Morocco "Casablanca
7 28–30 March 1990  "Iraq "Baghdad
8 9–10 August 1990  "Egypt "Cairo
9 22–23 June 1996  "Egypt "Cairo
10 21–22 October 2000  "Egypt "Cairo
11 7 January 2016  "Saudi Arabia "Riyadh

Economic resources[edit]

The Arab League is rich in resources, such as enormous "oil and "natural gas resources in certain member states. Another industry that is growing steadily in the Arab League is telecommunications. Within less than a decade, local companies such as "Orascom and "Etisalat have managed to compete internationally.["citation needed]

Economic achievements initiated by the League amongst member states have been less impressive than those achieved by smaller Arab organisations such as the "Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).[40] Among them is the "Arab Gas Pipeline, that will transport Egyptian and Iraqi gas to Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey. As of 2013, a significant difference in economic conditions exist between the developed oil states of "Algeria, "Qatar, "Kuwait and the "UAE, and developing countries like "Comoros, "Djibouti, "Mauritania, "Somalia, "Sudan and "Yemen.

OAPEC Members

The Arab League also includes great fertile lands in the southern part of "Sudan. It is referred to as the food basket of the "Arab World, the region's instability including the independence of "South Sudan has not affected its "tourism industry, that is considered the fastest growing industry in the region, with "Egypt, "UAE, "Lebanon, "Tunisia, and "Jordan leading the way. Another industry that is growing steadily in the Arab League is telecommunications.

Economical achievements within members have been low in the league's history, other smaller Arab Organizations have achieved more than the league has, such as the "GCC, but lately several major economic projects that are promising are to be completed, the "Arab Gas Pipeline is to end by the year 2010, Connecting Egyptian and Iraqi Gas to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, and then to Turkey thus Europe, a free trade Agreement ("GAFTA) is to be completed by 1 January 2008, making 95% of all Arab Products tax free of customs.


The Arab League is divided into five parts when it comes to transport, with the "Arabian Peninsula and the "Near East being entirely connected by air, sea, roads and railways. Another part of the League is the "Nile Valley, made up of "Egypt and "Sudan. These two member states have started to improve the River Nile's navigation system to improve accessibility and thus foster trading. A new railway system is also set to connect the southern Egyptian city of "Abu Simbel with the northern Sudanese city of "Wadi Halfa and then to "Khartoum and "Port Sudan. The third division of the League is the "Maghreb, where a 3,000 km stretch of railway runs from the southern cities of "Morocco to "Tripoli in Western "Libya. The fourth division of the League is the "Horn of Africa, whose member states include "Djibouti and "Somalia. These two Arab League states are separated by only ten nautical miles from the Arabian Peninsula by the "Bab el Mandeb and this is quickly changing as Tarik bin Laden, the brother of "Osama bin Laden, has initiated the construction of the ambitious "Bridge of the Horns project, which ultimately aims to connect the "Horn of Africa with the "Arabian Peninsula via a massive bridge. The project is intended to facilitate and accelerate the already centuries-old trade and commerce between the two regions. The last division of the League is the isolated island of "Comoros, which is not physically connected to any other Arab state, but still trades with other League members.

Literacy in Arab league countries[edit]

Literacy rate in Arab World.

In collecting literacy data, many countries estimate the number of literate people based on self-reported data. Some use educational attainment data as a proxy, but measures of school attendance or grade completion may differ. Because definitions and data collection methods vary across countries, literacy estimates should be used with caution. "United Nations Development Programme, "Human Development Report 2010. It is also important to note that the "Persian Gulf region has had an "oil boom, enabling more schools and universities to be set up.

Rank Country "Literacy rate
1  "Qatar 97.3[41]
2  "Palestine 96.5[41]
3  "Kuwait 96.3[41]
4  "Bahrain 95.7[41]
5  "Jordan 95.4[41]
6  "Saudi Arabia 94.4[41]
7  "Lebanon 93.9[41]
8  "United Arab Emirates 93.8[41]
9  "Oman 91.1[41]
10  "Libya 91[41]
11  "Syria 86.4[41]
12  "Iraq 85.7[41]
13  "Tunisia 81.8[41]
14  "Comoros 81.8[41]
15  "Algeria 80.2[41]
16  "Sudan 75.9[41]
17  "Egypt 73.8[41]
18  "Yemen 70.1[41]
19  "Djibouti 70.0[42]
20  "Morocco 68.5[41]
21  "Mauritania 52.1[41]
22  "Somalia 44–72[43]


The Arab League is a culturally and ethnically one association of 22 member states, with the overwhelming majority of the League's population identified as "Arab (on a cultural ethnoracial basis). As of July 1, 2013, about 359 million people live in the states of the Arab League. Its population grows faster than in most other global regions. The most populous member state is "Egypt, with a population of about 91 million.[44] The least populated is the "Comoros, with over 0.6 million inhabitants.

Rank Country Population Density (/km2) Density (sq mi) Notes
1  "Egypt 92,519,544 99 256 [45]
2  "Algeria 37,100,000 16 41 [46]
3  "Iraq 37,056,169 79 205 [47]
4  "Morocco 32,064,173 71 184 [46]
5  "Sudan 30,894,000 16 41 [48]
6  "Saudi Arabia 28,146,658 12 31 [46]
7  "Yemen 23,580,000 45 117 [46]
8  "Syria* 21,906,000 118 306 [46]
9  "Tunisia 10,673,800 65 168 [49]
10  "Somalia 11,400,000 18 47 [46]
11  "United Arab Emirates 8,264,070 99 256 [50]
12  "Libya 6,733,620 3.8 9.8 [46][51]
13  "Jordan 6,332,000 71 184 [46]
14  "Palestine 4,550,368 756 1,958 [52]
15  "Lebanon 4,224,000 404 1,046 [46]
16  "Kuwait 3,566,437 200 518 [46]
17  "Mauritania 3,291,000 3.2 8.3 [46]
18  "Oman 2,845,000 9.2 24 [46]
19  "Qatar 1,699,435 154 399 [46]
20  "Bahrain 1,234,596 1,646 4,263 [53]
21  "Djibouti 864,000 37 96 [46]
22  "Comoros 691,000 309 800 [46]
Total  Arab League 356,398,918 30.4 78.7


Almost all of the Arab League's citizens adhere to "Islam, with "Christianity being the second largest religion. At least 15 million Christians combined live in "Egypt, "Iraq, "Jordan, "Lebanon, "Palestine, "Sudan and "Syria. In addition, there are smaller but significant numbers of "Druze, "Yazidis, "Shabaks and "Mandaeans. Numbers for nonreligious Arabs are generally not available, but research by the "Pew Forum suggests around 1% of people in the "MENA region are "unaffiliated".[54]


The official language of the Arab League is "Literary Arabic, based on "Classical Arabic. However, several Arab League member states have other co-official or national languages, such as "Somali, "Berber, "Kurdish, "Assyrian, and "Nubian. Additionally, various different "Arabic dialects are spoken, such as "Egyptian Arabic, "Levantine Arabic and "Moroccan Arabic.



The "Pan Arab Games are considered the biggest Arab sporting event, which brings together athletes from all the Arab countries to participate in a variety of different sports.

The "Union of Arab Football Associations organises the "Arab Nations Cup (for national teams) and the "UAFA Club Championship (for clubs). Arab sport federations also exist for several games, include "basketball, "volleyball, "handball, "table tennis, "tennis, "squash and "swimming.["citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Syria suspended from Arab League, The Guardian
  2. ^ total population 450 million, "CIA Factbook estimates an Arab population of 533 million, see article text.
  3. ^ "Arab League". The Columbia Encyclopedia. 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.  – via Questia (subscription required)
  4. ^ Sly, Liz (12 November 2011). "Syria suspended from Arab League". Washington Post. 
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  6. ^ "The Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALESCO)". 
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  16. ^ Souhail Karam – Tom Heneghan – Michael Roddy (16 March 2011). "Gaddafi taunts critics, dares them to get him". Reuters. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
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  29. ^ Geddes, 1991, p. 208.
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  31. ^ "Kuwaiti MP calls to move Arab league to Venezuela". AFP, via CaribbeanNetNews. 15 January 2009. Archived from the original on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 16 January 2009. 
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External links[edit]

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