The Arab League: What Is It?
African and Asian nations that speak Arabic make up the Arab League. To further the independence, sovereignty, concerns, and interests of its member nations and observers, it was established in Cairo in 1945. The organization had seven original members when it first started, and it now has 22 distinct member countries and four observer governments. The League has a council to ensure its objectives are achieved, and a charter governs it.
Knowledge of the Arab League
As mentioned, the Arab League is an association of 22 countries from the Middle East and Northern Africa. These nations are largely in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Its headquarters are in Cairo, and it was established in 1945. It is formally known as the League of Arab States and prioritizes its member states’ peace, stability, and political, social, and economic growth.
The League has granted observer status to four countries: Brazil, Eritrea, India, and Venezuela. The population, income, gross domestic product (GDP), and literacy rates of the Arab League nations are all significantly different. They are all largely Muslim, Arabic-speaking nations, although Saudi Arabia and Egypt are seen as the two most important members of the League. The League assists its member nations in coordinating government and cultural activities to promote collaboration and reduce conflict. This is done, among other things, through agreements for cooperative defense, economic cooperation, and free trade.
The Arab League’s past
After the seven founding members of the League signed the Alexandria Protocol in Cairo the year before, the League was established in 1945. Freeing the Arab nations still under colonial authority was a hot topic then.
The League’s initial headquarters were located in Cairo in 1945. That situation altered when it was transferred to Tunis, Tunisia, in 1979. The group terminated Egypt’s membership when it forged a peace accord with Israel. When Egypt was re-admitted as a member state in 1989, the League restored relations with Egypt and relocated its headquarters back to Cairo.
During the Arab Spring upheavals in early 2011, the Arab League replied swiftly and unanimously by suspending the nation’s membership. It backed UN intervention against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces at the time. Later that year, after Gaddafi was ousted from power and a representative of the National Transitional Council was put in place to serve as the interim government, Libya’s membership was resumed. 3
In 2014, the Arab League denounced the Islamic State, and some members carried out airstrikes against the terrorist group. But overall, it didn’t do much to help the Iraqi government, which Shiites head.
Syria’s membership was also in jeopardy when the government removed it in 2011 due to government brutality against peaceful protests. The group urged Turkey to leave Syria in 2018 and 2019. The League requested that Somalia postpone its presidential and legislative elections in April 2021.
Ideas about Israel
Since the Arab League acknowledges Palestine as a separate country, one of its first objectives was to stop the division of Palestine by establishing the Jewish state of Israel.
The League’s stance on Israel has fluctuated. It condemned Israel’s intentions to annex the Jordan Valley in 2019. The League criticized President Donald Trump’s administration’s proposed Middle East peace plan in February 2020, claiming it “does not meet the minimum rights and aspirations of Palestinian people. The initiative appeared to have the support of some members. Additionally, the League did not denounce the United Arab Emirates’ intention to restore diplomatic ties with the Jewish state in September 2020.
Charter of the Arab League
The Pact of the League of Arab States is the name of the charter of the Arab League, which was founded on March 22, 1945. The seven founding members’ heads of state—Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen—signed it. According to the pact, the member nations want to bolster their sovereignty and relationships.
The pact’s 20 articles set down the objectives, structure, location, and formation of the Arab League Council. It also outlines the steps that must be taken to settle member complaints.
Additionally, there are annexes covering the following topics:
- The collaboration with other Arab non-member nations
- the selection of a secretary general for the LeagueCouncil of the Arab League
The Arab League’s highest body, the League Council, comprises delegates from each member nation, usually the foreign ministers, permanent delegates, or their proxies. There is one vote per member state. Twice a year, in March and September, the Council convenes. A special session may be requested by two or more members. The secretary-general oversees the general secretariat, which oversees the League’s everyday activities. The general secretariat serves as the League’s administrative body and the Council’s executive and specialized ministerial councils.
Arab League Member Conflicts (Disputes among member nations have impeded the Arab League’s functioning and impact. Some members supported the Soviet Union during the Cold War, while others sided with Western countries. Rivalry over the leadership of the League has also existed, particularly between Egypt and Iraq. Conflicts between monarchs, such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Morocco, and the actions of nations that have undergone political upheaval, including Egypt under Gamal Abdel Nasser and Libya under Muammar Gaddafi, have caused unrest. Significant rifts amongst Arab League members were also caused by the American war on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
The Council’s members do not need to ratify its resolutions unanimously. However, because no country must comply with them against its will because they are only binding on the countries that voted for them, their impact is relatively restricted; they sometimes amount to nothing more than pronouncements rather than actual policies.
What Is the Arab League There For?
The stated goal of the Arab League is to develop relations, facilitate communication, and advance shared interests among Arabic-speaking countries. These issues of interest include economy, communication, culture, nationality, social welfare, and health.
The League of Arab States’ founding charter, the Pact of the League of Arab States, outlines the organization’s goals as follows:
To realize close cooperation between member states, to protect their independence and sovereignty, and to take into account the general affairs and interests of the Arab countries, the League’s purpose is to “bring closer relations between member States and coordinate their political activities.” International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, “League of Arab States.”
Who Is the Arab League’s Head of State?
The Secretary-General is in charge of the Arab League. Ahmed Aboul Gheit is in charge of such a position as of June 4, 2022. He took it on in 2016.
Does the Arab League Today?
The Arab League is still in existence. However, members are skipping League summits and resigning from their posts, which can indicate decreasing interest in the group.
As stated in a 2020 article published by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, some scholars and statesmen believe that the League is unable to get past a fundamental paralysis caused by internal conflicts among its member states, which results in “resolutions [that] are prefabricated, out of date, out of touch, and reflexively anti-Israeli.” The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies declares that “the time has come to close it down. According to Sean Yom, assistant professor at Temple University in Philadelphia and author of From Resilience to Revolution: How Foreign Interventions Destabilize the Middle East, “The League’s paralysis reflects its irrelevance since the 2000s,” he stated in an interview in 2018. “If we see the League simply dissolve away, it will probably take another decade or two.”
Why is Turkey excluded from the Arab League?
Turkey’s request for observer membership in the League has been denied for several reasons, including opposition from Syria (which still claims Turkey’s Hatay Province) and Iraq (whose Kurdish inhabitants Turkey has regularly fought with). Additionally, the League denounced Turkey’s military operations in Libya and other nations.
Is the Arab League an alliance of armed forces?
The Arab League isn’t specifically a military coalition. But when it was founded, its members made a deal to work together on military matters and to plan military defense. The decision to renew their combined defense and create a peacekeeping force to deploy in South Lebanon, Darfur, Iraq, and other flashpoints was made by the presidents of its member nations during the 2007 summit. Member nations agreed to establish a combined voluntary military force during a conference held in Egypt in 2015.
Around the world, there are several different intergovernmental organizations. Some of these organizations are worldwide, like the United Nations, while others, like the Arab League, are more regionally oriented. The 22 members of this organization are spread over the Middle East and Northern Africa. The Arab League seeks to further its member states’ political and economic advancement while fostering closer ties among them, as do other organizations with comparable objectives.
- The Middle East and North African nations that speak Arabic collectively under the banner of the Arab League.
- The League’s headquarters are in Cairo, founded in 1945.
- The goal of the Arab League is to advance regional sovereignty, economic development, and political stability.
- There are 22 member states and four observer countries in the League.
- The Arab League’s charter, which consists of 20 articles and 3 annex agreements, is followed by its members.