The Full Wiki

Arab League: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

League of Arab States
جامعة الدول العربية
Jāmiʻat ad-Duwal al-ʻArabiyya
Headquarters Cairo, Egypt1
Official languages Arabic
 -  Secretary General Amr Moussa (since 2001)
 -  Council of
the Arab League
 -  Speaker of
the Arab Parliament
Nabih Berri
 -  Alexandria Protocol March 22, 1945 
 -  Total area with Western Sahara 13,953,041 km2 (2nd2)
5,382,910 sq mi 
 -  Area excluding Western Sahara 13,687,041 km2 (5,280,291 sq mi)
 -  2007 estimate 339,510,535 (3rd2)
 -  Density 24.33/km2 
63/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $2,604,639 million (6th2)
 -  Per capita $7,672 (92nd)
Time zone (UTC+0 to +4)
1 From 1979 to 1989: Tunis, Tunisia
2 If ranked among nation states.
This article contains Arabic text, written from right to left in a cursive style with some letters joined. Without proper rendering support, you may see unjoined Arabic letters written left-to-right instead of right-to-left or other symbols instead of Arabic script.

The Arab League (Arabic: الجامعة العربيةal-Jāmiʻa al-ʻArabiyya), officially called the League of Arab States (Arabic: جامعة الدول العربيةJāmiʻat ad-Duwal al-ʻArabiyya), is a regional organization of Arab states in Southwest Asia, and North and Northeast Africa. It was formed in Cairo on March 22, 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan (renamed Jordan after 1946), Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a member on May 5, 1945. The Arab League currently has 22 members and four observers. The main goal of the league 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."[1]

Through institutions such as the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALESCO) 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 programs designed to promote the interests of the Arab world.[2][3] 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 sets out the principles for economic activities in the region.

Each member state has one vote in the League Council, while 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 Defense and Economic Cooperation on April 13, 1950 committed the signatories to coordination of military defense measures.

The Arab league has played an important role in shaping school curricula, advancing the role of women in the Arab societies, promoting child welfare, encouraging youth and sports programs, preserving Arab cultural heritage, and fostering cultural exchanges between the member states.[citation needed] Literacy campaigns have been launched, intellectual works reproduced, and modern technical terminology is translated for the use within member states. The league encourages measures against crime and drug abuse, and deals with labor issues—particularly among the emigrant Arab workforce.


Members and dates

The Arab League was founded in Cairo in 1945 by Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Transjordan (Jordan from 1946), and Yemen. There was a continual increase in membership during the second half of the 20th century, with additional 15 Arab states and 4 observers being admitted.

Egypt's membership was suspended in 1979 after it signed the Egyptian–Israeli Peace Treaty, and the League's headquarters were moved from Cairo to Tunis. In 1987, Arab countries restored diplomatic relations with Egypt and the country was readmitted to the league in 1989 while the league's headquarters moved back to Cairo.[4] In September 2006, Venezuela was accepted as an observer, and India in 2007.

Israel is not a member despite 20% of its population being of Arab origin, nearly half the Jewish population being descended from Jews from Arab countries, and Arabic being an official language. Neither is Chad a member, although Arabic is in both official and vernacular use there.

Four countries are observer states — a status that entitles them to express their opinion and give advice but denies them voting rights.[5] Of the four, one (Eritrea) uses Arabic as an official language, and two (Brazil and Venezuela) have large and influential communities of persons of Arab descent (Brazil in particular having nearly twice the Lebanese population of Lebanon itself[citation needed]).

The current members and observers of the Arab League are listed below along with their admission dates.

Joining dates of member states; the Comoros (circled) joined in 1993.
     40s      50s      60s      70s
Members Admission date
 Egypt[6] March 22, 1945a
 Saudi Arabia[10]
 Yemen[12] May 5, 1945
 Sudan[12] January 19, 1956
 Libya[12] March 28, 1956c
 Moroccod[12] October 1, 1958
 Kuwait[12] July 20, 1961
 Algeria[12] August 16, 1962
 Bahrain[12] September 11, 1971
 Oman[12] September 29, 1971
 United Arab Emirates[12] December 6, 1971
 Mauritania[12] November 26, 1973
 Somalia[12] February 14, 1974
Palestinian territories Palestinee[13] September 9, 1976
 Djibouti[12] September 4, 1977
 Comoros[citation needed] November 20, 1993
Observers Admission date
 Eritrea[14] observer since 2003
 Venezuela[17][20] observer since 2006
 India[citation needed] observer since 2007


Note a: Date of foundation.
Note b: As Transjordan.
Note c: Libya announced its withdrawal on October 24, 2002, which would have been effective one year later; however, Libya then retracted its decision to withdraw on January 16, 2003, reaffirmed it on April 3, 2003, before retracting it again on May 25, 2003.
Note d: The sovereignty of Western Sahara is disputed between Morocco and the Polisario Front's Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic government. The Arab League recognizes it as a part of Morocco.
Note e: Representatives from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).


Administrative divisions in the Arab League

The area of members of the Arab League covers around 14,000,000 km2 (5,400,000 sq mi) and straddles two continents: Western Asia as well as Northern and Northeastern Africa. The area consists of large arid deserts, namely the Sahara. Nevertheless, it also contains several very fertile lands, such as the Nile Valley, the High Atlas Mountains, and the Fertile Crescent which stretches from Iraq over Syria and Lebanon to Palestine. The area comprises also deep forests in southern Arabia and southern Sudan as well as the major parts of the world's longest river—the Nile.

The area has witnessed the rise and fall of many ancient civilizations: Ancient Egypt, Rome, Ancient Israel, Assyria, Babylon, Phoenicia, Carthage, Kush, and Nabateans.


Arab League
Flag of the Arab League.svg

This article is part of the series:
Life in
the Arab League


The Charter of the Arab League[1] 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[21] and the committees[22] were agreed in October 1951. Those of the Secretariat-General were agreed in May 1953.[23]

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.


The Arab League is rich in resources, with enormous oil and natural gas resources; it also has great fertile lands in South of the Sudan, usually referred to as the food basket of the Arab World. The region's instability has not affected its tourism industry, that is considered the fastest growing industry in the region, with Egypt, UAE, Algeria, Tunisia, and Jordan leading the way. 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.

Economic achievements initiated by the League amongst member states have been less impressive than those achieved by other smaller Arab organizations such as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). However, several promising major economic projects are set to be completed soon.[24] Among them is the Arab Gas Pipeline, scheduled to be accomplished in 2010. It will transport Egyptian and Iraqi gas to Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey. The Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA), planned to come into effect on January 1, 2008, will render 95% of all Arab products free of customs.[citation needed]

Economic development in the Arab League is very disparate. Significant difference in wealth and economic conditions exist between the rich oil states of UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, and Algeria on the one hand, and poor countries like the Comoros, Mauritania, and Djibouti on the other hand. Arab economic funding is under development. As an example, the Arab League agreed to support the Sudanese region of Darfur with 500 million dollars, and Egyptian and Libyan companies are planning to build several wells in this dry area.


List of member states by GDP (PPP)

Arab League HQ building in Cairo, Egypt

This following table lists the gross domestic product (GDP) of the Arab League and its member states based on purchasing power parity (PPP) and measured in US dollar. If not indicated otherwise, the figures are based on the 2008 data published by the International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database, in April 2008.[25]

Country GDP (PPP) US$M GDP (PPP) US$ per capita
 Arab Leaguea 2,604,639 7,671
 Saudi Arabia 592,886 23,814
 Egypt 443,430 5,896
 Algeria 233,479 6,709
 United Arab Emirates 185,287 38,893
 Morocco 138,250 4,433
 Kuwait 137,450 38,857
 Iraqb 114,151 3,652
 Syria 94,563 4,756
 Qatar 94,404 86,008
 Sudan 88,037 2,309
 Libya 88,133 14,192
 Tunisia 82,636 8,002
 Oman 68,331 24,674
 Yemen 52,050 2,335
 Lebanon 51,474 13,374
 Jordan 27,986 4,886
 Bahrain 24,499 32,064
 Mauritania 5,818 1,800
 Somaliab 5,575 600
Palestinian National Authority Palestineb 5,034 1,100
 Djibouti 1,738 2,271
 Comoros 719 1,125


Note a: The IMF source does not provide data for the compound Arab League. The total GDP figure has been calculated as the sum of the GDPs of the member states. The per capita value is derived on the basis of the population stated in the infobox.
Note b: The IMF source does not provide data for this country. The reported figures are taken from a 2007 estimate of the CIA published in the CIA factbook.[26] For Palestine, a 2006 estimate was retrieved from the same source which is published as "West Bank (includes Gaza Strip)".


Arab League map indicating literacy by country (2009 Human Development Report) Grey = no data

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 Report 2009.[1][2]

Rank Country Literacy rate [b]
1  Kuwait 94.5
2 Palestinian territories Palestine 93.8
3  Qatar 93.1
4  Jordan 91.1
5  United Arab Emirates 90.0 [l]
6  Lebanon 89.6 [j]
7  Bahrain 88.8
8  Libya 84.2 [l]
9  Saudi Arabia 82.9
10  Oman 81.4
11  Syria 80.8
12  Tunisia 74.3
13  Egypt 71.4
14  Djibouti 70.3 [j]
15  Algeria 69.9
16  Sudan 60.9 [aa]
17  Comoros 56.8 [j]
18  Yemen 54.1 [l]
19  Morocco 52.3
20  Mauritania 51.2
x  Iraq No info Submitted
x  Somalia No info Submitted

Status of Palestine

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.[27] This was done by means of an annex that declared:[1]

Even though Palestine was not able to control her own destiny, it was on the basis of the recognition of her independence that the Covenant of the League of Nations determined a system of government for her. Her existence and her independence among the nations can, therefore, no more be questioned de jure than the independence of any of the other Arab States. [...] Therefore, the States signatory to the Pact of the Arab League consider that in view of Palestine's special circumstances, the Council of the League should designate an Arab delegate from Palestine to participate in its work until this country enjoys actual independence

At the Cairo Summit of 1964, the Arab League initiated the creation of an organization representing the Palestinian people. The first Palestinian National Council convened in East Jerusalem on May 29, 1964. The Palestinian Liberation Organization was founded during this meeting on June 2, 1964.

At the Beirut Summit on March 28, 2002 the league adopted the Arab Peace Initiative,[28] a Saudi-inspired peace plan for the Arab–Israeli conflict. The initiative offered full normalization of the relations with Israel. In exchange, Israel was demanded to withdraw from all occupied territories, including the Golan Heights, to recognize an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and the 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. The mission was welcomed with reservations by Israel.[citation needed]

Following Venezuela's move to expel the resident Israeli diplomats amid the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, Kuwaiti member of parliament Waleed al-Tabtabai made a public plea to move the Arab League headquarters from Cairo to Caracas, Venezuela.[29]


The Arab League is a culturally and ethnically diverse association of 22 member states, although a vast majority of the league consist of Arab people. As of January 1, 2007, about 314,000,000 people live in the states of the Arab League. Its population grows faster than in most other global regions. This threatens to diminish the slow economic expansion expected in the league's developing countries.[citation needed]

The most populous member state is Egypt, with a population of about 77.5 million. The least populated is Djibouti, with about 0.5 million inhabitants.

Since large parts of the Arab League are deserts, the population is concentrated in and around cities where most the trade and industry are located. The largest Arab city is Cairo, followed by Baghdad, Khartoum, Giza, Damascus, Riyadh, and Casablanca.

Pos Country Population
1 Egypt Egypt 77,500,000
2 Sudan Sudan 39,154,490
3 Algeria Algeria 34,895,000
4 Morocco Morocco 31,649,000
5 Iraq Iraq 30,747,000
6 Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 25,721,000
7 Yemen Yemen 23,580,000
8 Syria Syria 21,906,000
9 Tunisia Tunisia 10,327,800
10 Somalia Somalia 9,133,000
11 Libya Libya 6,420,000
12 Jordan Jordan 6,316,000
13 United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates 4,599,000
14 Lebanon Lebanon 4,224,000
15 Palestinian territories Palestine 4,136,540
16 Mauritania Mauritania 3,291,000
17 Kuwait Kuwait 2,985,000
18 Oman Oman 2,845,000
19 Qatar Qatar 1,409,000
20 Djibouti Djibouti 864,000
21 Bahrain Bahrain 791,000
22 Comoros Comoros 676,000
Total Arab League Arab League 360,029,936

Comparisons with other organizations

Size comparison of the Arab League with Russia, Contiguous USA, and Europe (without Russia)

The Arab League resembles the Organization of American States, Celtic League, the Council of Europe, and the African Union, in that it has primarily political aims. However, membership in the league is based on culture rather than geographical location. In this respect, the Arab League resembles organizations such as the Latin Union or the Caribbean Community.

The Arab League differs notably from the European Union, in that it has not achieved a significant degree of regional integration and the organization itself has no direct relations with the citizens of its member states. However, the Arab League is based on principles that support and promote a unified Arab nationalism and a common position among Arabic states on various issues.

All Arab League members are also members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. In turn, the memberships of the smaller GCC and Arab Maghreb Union organizations are subsets of that of the league.


Egypt Abdul Rahman Azzam 1945 to 1952
Egypt Abdul Khalek Hassouna 1952 to 1972
Egypt Mahmoud Riad 1972 to 1979
Tunisia Chedli Klibi 1979 to 1990
Lebanon Assad al-Assad 1990 to 1991
Egypt Ahmad Esmat Abd al Meguid 1991 to 2001
Egypt Amr Moussa 2001 to date


Summits Held in Arab Cities
  1. Egypt Cairo: 13–17 Jan. 1964.
  2. Egypt Alexandria: 5–11 Sep. 1964.
  3. Morocco Casablanca: 13–17 Sep. 1965.
  4. Sudan Khartoum: 29 Aug. 1967.
  5. Morocco Rabat: 21–23 Dec. 1969.
  6. Egypt Cairo (first emergency summit): 21–27 Sep. 1970
  7. Algeria Algiers: 26–28 Nov.1973.
  8. Morocco Rabat: 29 Oct. 1974.
  9. Saudi Arabia Riyadh (2nd emergency summit): 17–28 Oct. 1976.
  10. Egypt Cairo: 25–26 Oct. 1976.
  11. Iraq Baghdad: 2–5 Nov.1978.
  12. Tunisia Tunis: 20–22 Nov. 1979.
  13. Jordan Amman: 21–22 Nov. 1980.
  14. Morocco Fes: 6–9 Sep. 1982.
  15. Morocco Casablanca (3rd emergency summit): 7–9 Sep. 1985
  16. Jordan Amman (4th emergency summit): 8–12 Nov. 1987.
  17. Algeria Algiers (5th emergency summit): 7–9 Jun. 1988.
  18. Morocco Casablanca (6th emergency summit): 23–26 Jun. 1989.
  19. Iraq Baghdad (7th emergency summit): 28–30 Mar. 1990.
  20. Egypt Cairo (8th emergency summit): 9–10 Aug. 1990
  21. Egypt Cairo (9th emergency summit): 22–23 Jun. 1996.
  22. Egypt Cairo (10th emergency summit): 21–22 Oct. 2000.
  23. Jordan Amman: 27–28 Mar. 2001.
  24. Lebanon Beirut: 27–28 Mar. 2002.
  25. Egypt Sharm el-Sheikh: 1 Mar. 2003.
  26. Tunisia Tunis: 22–23 May. 2004.
  27. Algeria Algiers: 22–23 Mar. 2005.
  28. Sudan Khartoum: 28–30 Mar. 2006.
  29. Saudi Arabia Riyadh: 27–28 Mar. 2007.
  30. Syria Damascus: 29–30 Mar. 2008.
  31. Qatar Doha: 28–30 Mar. 2009.
  32. Libya Tripoli: 30–1 Mar-Apr. 2010.
  • Two summits are not added to the system of Arab League summits:
    • Anshas, Egypt: 28–29 May 1946
    • Beirut, Lebanon: 13 – 15 November 1956
  • Summit 14 in Fes, Morocco, occurred in two stages:
    • On 25 November 1981: The 5-hours meeting ended without an agreed on document.
    • On 6–9 September 1982

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Pact of the League of Arab States, March 22, 1945". The Avalon Project. Yale Law School. 1998. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  2. ^ "The Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALESCO)". 
  3. ^ Ashish K. Vaidya, Globalization, (ABC-CLIO: 2006), p.525
  4. ^ "Timeline: Arab League". BBC News. September 17, 2008. Retrieved November 30, 2009. 
  5. ^ "India invited as observer for Arab League summit". Press Trust of India. 2007-03-27. Retrieved 2007-06-13. 
  6. ^ "League of Arab States: Arab Republic Of Egypt". Arab League Online. Retrieved June 12, 2007. 
  7. ^ "League of Arab States: Republic Of Iraq". Arab League Online. Retrieved June 12, 2007. 
  8. ^ "League of Arab States: The Hashemite Kingdom Of Jordan". Arab League Online. Retrieved June 12, 2007. 
  9. ^ "League of Arab States: Republic Of Lebanon". Arab League Online. Retrieved June 12, 2007. 
  10. ^ "League of Arab States: Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia". Arab League Online. Retrieved June 12, 2007. 
  11. ^ "League of Arab States: Arab Republic Of Syria". Arab League Online. Retrieved June 12, 2007. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n The Arab Balance of Power
  13. ^ "League of Arab States: State Of Palestine". Arab League Online. Retrieved June 12, 2007. 
  14. ^ "Eritrea Joins Arab League As Observer". The Somaliland Times. 2003-01-17. Retrieved 2007-06-13. 
  15. ^ "Speech by the President of the Republic, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, on the occasion of his visit to the Headquarters of the League of Arab States". Foreign Affairs Ministry of Brazil. 
  16. ^ "‘Turkey and Brazil both looking for solutions to social and economic problems,’ says outgoing Brazilian ambassador". Todays Zaman. 
  17. ^ a b "Venezuela Receives Arab League Support for UN Security Council Seat". 2006-07-19. Retrieved 2007-10-17. 
  18. ^ "Latin leanings". Al-Ahram Weekly. 
  19. ^ "Getting Brazil Close to Arabs Is a Lula's Pet Project". Brazzil Magazine. 
  20. ^ "Arab League accepts Venezuela as observer". People's Daily Online. 2006-07-18. Retrieved 2007-10-17. 
  21. ^ "Internal Regulations of the Council of the League of Arab States". Model League of Arab States. Ed Haynes, Winthrop University. 1998-04-06. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  22. ^ "Internal Regulations of the Committees of the League of Arab States". Model League of Arab States. Ed Haynes, Winthrop University. 1998-04-06. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  23. ^ "Internal Regulations of the Secretariat-General of the League". Model League of Arab States. Ed Haynes, Winthrop University. 1998-04-06. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". World Economic Outlook Database. IMF. April 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-24. 
  26. ^ "Field Listing — GDP (purchasing power parity)". The world factbook. CIA. 2008-07-15. Retrieved 2008-07-24. 
  27. ^ Geddes, 1991, p. 208.
  28. ^ "The Arab Peace Initiative, 2002". 2005-10-01. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  29. ^ "Kuwaiti MP calls to move Arab league to Venezuela". AFP, via CaribbeanNetNews. 2009-01-15. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 

Further reading

  • Ankerl, Guy: Coexisting Contemporary Civilizations: Arabo-Muslim, Bharati, Chinese, and Western. Geneva, INU Press, 2000. ISBN 2-88155-0044-5
  • Geddes, Charles L: A Documentary History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Greenwood Press, 1991. ISBN 0-275-93858-1

External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Proper noun

Wikipedia has an article on:


Arab Leaue

  1. an international organization of Arabic-speaking nations, established to coordinate political, cultural, health and communications activities

Simple English

Ḥ{| border="1" align="right" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" width="300" style="margin: 0 0 1em 1em; background: #f9f9f9; border: 1px #aaaaaa solid; border-collapse: collapse; font-size: 95%;" |+ Arab League |- | align="center" colspan="2" style="background:#f9f9f9;" | File:Flag of the Arab
The Arab League's official flag. |- | align="center" colspan="2" style="background:#f9f9f9;" | File:AL.GIF
Map of the Arab League. |}

The Arab League is an organization made up of countries in Northern Africa and Southwest Asia. Most, though not all of these countries use Arabic as their official language. The purpose is to find ways for the countries to have unity and to work together to figure out and work to fix their problems.

The organization has the Arabic Language as the language used in its summits, and all official papers, tho it has never been stated by the Organization that Arabic is the Official Language. The Arab League was founded following the Protocol of Alexandria signed in the Year 1945, by seven Arab States, Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Trans-Jordan (Jordan). Today the Organization has 22 members, All countries adopting Arabic as an official language are members of the Organizations, but three, Israel, Eritrea and Chad.


The countries in the Arab League are:

o[j[uog tvy


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address