Arab League

Last updated

League of Arab States

جامعة الدول العربية
Jāmiʿat ad-Duwal al-ʿArabīyah
Emblem of the Arab League.svg
Arab League member states (orthographic projection).svg
Administrative center Cairo, Egypt a
Official languages
Demonym(s) Arabs
Type Regional organization
Ahmed Aboul Gheit
Ali Al-Daqbaashi
Flag of Lebanon.svg  Lebanon
Legislature Arab Parliament
22 March 1945
 Total area
13,132,327 km2 (5,070,420 sq mi)
 2015 estimate
423,000,000 [2]
27.17/km2 (70.4/sq mi)
GDP  (PPP)2016 estimate
$6.484 trillion (4th)
 Per capita
GDP  (nominal)2011 estimate
$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 العربيةJāmiʿat ad-Duwal al-ʿArabīyah), 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: Egypt, 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]

Regional organization international organizations that act within a specific region

Regional organizations (ROs) are, in a sense, international organizations (IOs), as they incorporate international membership and encompass geopolitical entities that operationally transcend a single nation state. However, their membership is characterized by boundaries and demarcations characteristic to a defined and unique geography, such as continents, or geopolitics, such as economic blocs. They have been established to foster cooperation and political and economic integration or dialogue among states or entities within a restrictive geographical or geopolitical boundary. They both reflect common patterns of development and history that have been fostered since the end of World War II as well as the fragmentation inherent in globalization, which is why their institutional characteristics vary from loose cooperation to formal regional integration. Most ROs tend to work alongside well-established multilateral organizations such as the United Nations. While in many instances a regional organization is simply referred to as an international organization, in many others it makes sense to use the term regional organization to stress the more limited scope of a particular membership.

Arab world geographic and cultural region

The Arab world, also known as the Arab nation, the Arabsphere or the Arab states, currently consists of the 22 Arab countries of the Arab League. These Arab states occupy North Africa and West Asia; an area stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the east, and from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean in the southeast. The contemporary Arab world has a combined population of around 422 million inhabitants, over half of whom are under 25 years of age.

North Africa Northernmost region of Africa

North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Morocco in the west, to Egypt's Suez Canal and the Red Sea in the east. Others have limited it to top North-Western countries like Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia, a region that was known by the French during colonial times as “Afrique du Nord” and is known by all Arabs as the Maghreb. The most commonly accepted definition includes Algeria, Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, the 6 countries that shape the top North of the African continent. Meanwhile, “North Africa”, particularly when used in the term North Africa and the Middle East, often refers only to the countries of the Maghreb and Libya. Egypt, being also part of the Middle East, is often considered separately, due to being both North African and Middle Eastern at the same time. North Africa includes a number of Spanish and Portuguese possessions, Plazas de soberanía, Ceuta and Melilla and the Canary Islands and Madeira. The countries of North Africa share a common ethnic, cultural and linguistic identity that is unique to this region. Northwest Africa has been inhabited by Berbers since the beginning of recorded history, while the eastern part of North Africa has been home to the Egyptians. Between the A.D. 600s and 1000s, Arabs from the Middle East swept across the region in a wave of Muslim conquest. These peoples, physically quite similar, formed a single population in many areas, as Berbers and Egyptians merged into Arabic and Muslim culture. This process of Arabization and Islamization has defined the cultural landscape of North Africa ever since.


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 Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization organization

The Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) is a Tunis-based institution of the Arab League, established in accordance with article 3 of the Arab Cultural Unity Charter by an announcement made in Cairo, Egypt, on 25 July 1970. ALECSO works to coordinate cultural and educational activities in the Arab world.

Council of Arab Economic Unity organization

The Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU) was founded by Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen on May 30, 1964, following an agreement in 1957 by the Economic Council of the Arab League.

1958 Lebanon crisis

The 1958 Lebanon crisis was a Lebanese political crisis caused by political and religious tensions in the country that included a U.S. military intervention. The intervention lasted for around three months until President Camille Chamoun, who had requested the assistance, completed his term as president of Lebanon. American and Lebanese government forces successfully occupied the port and international airport of Beirut. With the crisis over, the United States withdrew.

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 Arab League of states establishment - Egypt 22-3-1945 22Millim stamp.jpg
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.

Arab British Chamber of Commerce established 6 February 1975, is an international trade organization located in the prestigious Mayfair area of London, beside Grosvenor Square. The Chamber has been encouraging, promoting and facilitating Arab-British trade and economic cooperation since 1975. It works in close co-operation with Arab businesses and official bodies, particularly the League of Arab States and its specialized agencies, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Arab diplomatic missions in London, UKTI, British Chambers of Commerce, and chambers of commerce in the Arab world. The Chamber's regular events include business networking, conferences, seminars and workshops aimed at the business community involved in the Arab-British trade relations. The Chamber’s distinguishing motto: ‘Friendship through Trade’ has earned it a well established name within the Arab and British business sectors over the past four decades.


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]

Israel country in the Middle East

Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt to the southwest. The country contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition.

United Nations Intergovernmental organization

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that was tasked to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international co-operation and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. The headquarters of the UN is in Manhattan, New York City, and is subject to extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi, and Vienna. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development and upholding international law. The UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. In 24 October 1945, at the end of World War II, the organization was established with the aim of preventing future wars. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193. The UN is the successor of the ineffective League of Nations.

Amman City in Amman Governorate, Jordan

Amman is the capital and most populous city of Jordan, and the country's economic, political and cultural centre. Situated in north-central Jordan, Amman is the administrative centre of the Amman Governorate. The city has a population of 4,007,526 and a land area of 1,680 square kilometres. Today, Amman is considered to be among the most modernized Arab cities. It is a major tourist destination in the region, particularly among Arab and European tourists.


Joining dates of member states; the Comoros (circled) joined in 1993.
1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s Arab League members colored by joining date.svg
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.


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]

Initially, in 1945, there were only six members. Today, the Arab League has 22 members, including three African countries among the largest by area (Sudan, Algeria and Libya) and the largest country in the Middle East, (Saudi Arabia).

Five countries have observer status that entitles them to express their opinion and give advice but denies them voting rights. [14]

There was a continual increase in membership during the second half of the 20th century. As of 2016, there are 22 member states:

and 5 observer states:

Libya was suspended on 22 February 2011, following the start of the Libyan Civil War. [16] 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. [17]

Syria was suspended on 16 November 2011. On 6 March 2013, the Arab League gave the Syrian National Coalition Syria's seat in the Arab League. [18] On 9 March 2014, secretary general Nabil al-Arabi said that Syria's seat would remain vacant until the opposition completes the formation of its institutions. [19]

Politics and administration

Headquarters of the Arab League, Cairo. Arab Leage HQ 977.PNG
Headquarters of the Arab League, Cairo.
Recognition of both Israel and Palestinian State
Recognition of Palestinian State only Israel-Palestine Diplomacy.svg
  Recognition of both Israel and Palestinian State
  Recognition of Palestinian State only
Administrative divisions in the Arab League. Provinces - Arab League.PNG
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 conducted 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 [20] and the committees [21] were agreed in October 1951. Those of the Secretariat-General were agreed in May 1953. [22]

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. [23] 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, [24] 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. [25] 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. [26]

On 15 April 2018, in response to the Turkish invasion of northern Syria aimed at ousting U.S.-backed Syrian Kurds from the enclave of Afrin, the Arab League passed a resolution calling on Turkish forces to withdraw from Afrin. [27]


2013 Arab League Summit Logo Arab League Summit Logo.png
2013 Arab League Summit Logo
No.DateHost CountryHost City
1 13–17 January 1964Flag of the United Arab Republic.svg  Egypt Cairo
2 5–11 September 1964Flag of the United Arab Republic.svg  Egypt Alexandria
3 13–17 September 1965Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco Casablanca
4 29 August 1967Flag of Sudan.svg  Sudan Khartoum
5 21–23 December 1969Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco Rabat
6 26–28 November 1973Flag of Algeria.svg  Algeria Algiers
7 29 October 1974Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco Rabat
8 25–26 October 1976Flag of Egypt (1972-1984).svg  Egypt Cairo
9 2–5 November 1978Flag of Iraq (1963-1991); Flag of Syria (1963-1972).svg  Iraq Baghdad
10 20–22 November 1979Flag of Tunisia.svg  Tunisia Tunis
11 21–22 November 1980Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan Amman
12 6–9 September 1982Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco Fes
13 1985Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco Casablanca
14 1987Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan Amman
15 June 1988Flag of Algeria.svg  Algeria Algiers
16 1989Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco Casablanca
17 1990Flag of Iraq (1963-1991); Flag of Syria (1963-1972).svg  Iraq Baghdad
18 1996Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt Cairo
19 27–28 March 2001Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan Amman
20 27–28 March 2002Flag of Lebanon.svg  Lebanon Beirut
21 1 March 2003Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt Sharm el-Sheikh
22 22–23 May 2004Flag of Tunisia.svg  Tunisia Tunis
23 22–23 March 2005Flag of Algeria.svg  Algeria Algiers
24 28–30 March 2006Flag of Sudan.svg  Sudan Khartoum
25 27–28 March 2007Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia Riyadh
26 29–30 March 2008Flag of Syria.svg  Syria Damascus
27 28–30 March 2009Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar Doha
28 27–28 March 2010Flag of Libya (1977-2011).svg  Libya Sirte
29 27–29 March 2012Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq Baghdad
30 21–27 March 2013Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar Doha [28]
31 25–26 March 2014Flag of Kuwait.svg  Kuwait Kuwait City [29]
32 28–29 March 2015Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt Sharm El Sheikh [30]
33 20 July 2016Flag of Mauritania.svg  Mauritania Nouakchott
34 23–29 March 2017Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan Amman [31]
35 15 April 2018Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia Dhahran
36 April 2019Flag of Tunisia.svg  Tunisia Tunis [32]


The Joint Defence Council of the Arab League is one of the Institutions of the Arab League. [33] 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. [34]

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. [35]

Emergency summits

No.DateHost CountryHost City
1 21–27 September 1970Flag of the United Arab Republic.svg  Egypt Cairo
2 17–28 October 1976Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia Riyadh
37–9 September 1985Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco Casablanca
48–12 November 1987Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan Amman
57–9 June 1988Flag of Algeria.svg  Algeria Algiers
623–26 June 1989Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco Casablanca
728–30 March 1990Flag of Iraq (1963-1991); Flag of Syria (1963-1972).svg  Iraq Baghdad
89–10 August 1990Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt Cairo
922–23 June 1996Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt Cairo
1021–22 October 2000Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt Cairo
117 January 2016Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia Riyadh
  • Two summits are not added to the system of Arab League summits:
    • Anshas, Egypt: 28–29 May 1946.
    • Beirut, Lebanon: 13 – 15 November 1958.
  • Summit 14 in Fes, Morocco, occurred in two stages:
    • On 25 November 1981: the 5-hour meeting ended without an agreement on document.
    • On 6–9 September 1982.

Economic resources

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). [36] 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 OAPEC Members.png
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

Literacy rate in Arab World. Arab literacy rate (2010).svg
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.

RankCountry Literacy rate
1Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar 97.3 [37]
2Flag of Palestine.svg  Palestine 96.5 [37]
3Flag of Kuwait.svg  Kuwait 96.3 [37]
4Flag of Bahrain.svg  Bahrain 95.7 [37]
5Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan 95.4 [37]
6Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia 94.4 [37]
7Flag of Lebanon.svg  Lebanon 93.9 [37]
8Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates 93.8 [37]
9Flag of Oman.svg  Oman 91.1 [37]
10Flag of Libya.svg  Libya 91 [37]
11Flag of Syria.svg  Syria 86.4 [37]
12Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq 85.7 [37]
13Flag of Tunisia.svg  Tunisia 81.8 [37]
14Flag of the Comoros.svg  Comoros 81.8 [37]
15Flag of Algeria.svg  Algeria 80.2 [37]
16Flag of Sudan.svg  Sudan 75.9 [37]
17Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt 73.8 [37]
18Flag of Yemen.svg  Yemen 70.1 [37]
19Flag of Djibouti.svg  Djibouti 70.0 [38]
20Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco 68.5 [37]
21Flag of Mauritania.svg  Mauritania 52.1 [37]
22Flag of Somalia.svg  Somalia 44–72 [39]


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. [40] The least populated is the Comoros, with over 0.6 million inhabitants.

RankCountryPopulationDensity (/km2)Density (sq mi)Notes
1Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt 97,075,300101262 [41]
2Flag of Algeria.svg  Algeria 40,400,0001641 [42]
3Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq 37,202,57280207 [43]
4Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco 35,740,00071184 [42]
5Flag of Sudan.svg  Sudan 39,578,8281641 [44]
6Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia 33,000,0001231 [42]
7Flag of Yemen.svg  Yemen 27,584,21345117 [42]
8Flag of Syria.svg  Syria*21,906,000118306 [42]
9Flag of Tunisia.svg  Tunisia 11,304,48265168 [45]
10Flag of Somalia.svg  Somalia 14,317,9961847 [42]
11Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan 10,159,96771184 [42]
12Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates 9,269,61299256 [46]
13Flag of Libya.svg  Libya 6,293,2533.89.8 [42] [47]
14Flag of Lebanon.svg  Lebanon 6,006,6684041,046 [42]
15Flag of Palestine.svg  Palestine 4,550,3687561,958 [48]
16Flag of Oman.svg  Oman 4,424,7629.224 [42]
17Flag of Mauritania.svg  Mauritania 4,301,0183.28.3 [42]
18Flag of Kuwait.svg  Kuwait 4,052,584200518 [42]
19Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar 2,641,669154399 [42]
20Flag of Bahrain.svg  Bahrain 1,425,1711,6464,263 [49]
21Flag of Djibouti.svg  Djibouti 942,3333796 [42]
22Flag of the Comoros.svg  Comoros 795,601309800 [42]
TotalFlag of the Arab League.svg  Arab League 412,972,397 30.478.7


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". [50]


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 Arab Club Champions Cup (for clubs). Arab sport federations also exist for several games, include basketball, volleyball, handball, table tennis, tennis, squash and swimming.[ citation needed ]

See also

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Palestine Liberation Army

The Palestine Liberation Army was ostensibly set up as the military wing of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) at the 1964 Arab League summit held in Alexandria, Egypt, with the mission of fighting Israel. However, it has never been under effective PLO control, but rather it has been controlled by its various host governments, usually Syria.

The Arab–Israeli conflict is a modern phenomenon, which has its roots in the end of the 19th century. The conflict became a major international issue with the birth of Israel in 1948. The Arab–Israeli conflict has resulted in at least five major wars and a number of minor conflicts. It has also been the source of two major Palestinian uprisings (intifadas).

Arab League–Iran relations

Arab League–Iran relations refer to political, economic and cultural relations between the mostly Shia Muslim and ethnically Persian country of Iran (Persia) and the mostly Sunni and Arab organization Arab League.

Arabic Industrial Development and Mining Organization (AIDMO)(Arabic: المنظمة العربية للتنمية الصناعية والتعدين‎)

History of the Arab League

In its early years, the Arab League concentrated mainly on economic, cultural and social programs. In 1959, it held the first Arab Petroleum Congress, and in 1964, established the Arab League Educational, Cultural, and Scientific Organization. In 1974, despite objections by Jordan, the league recognized the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of all Palestinians.

Foreign relations of the Arab League

The Arab League was founded in 1945, has 22 members and four observer members: Brazil, Eritrea, India and Venezuela. Turkey and Iran have also both expressed their desire to join as observers, but their requests were delayed due to political problems with other Arab states, especially Iraq, Egypt and Syria..

1964 Arab League summit (Cairo)

The 1964 Arab League summit was the first summit of the Arab League, held in Cairo, Egypt, on 13–16 January 1964 and attended by all thirteen of the then member states: United Arab Republic (Egypt), Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia, Kuwait and Algeria.

1964 Arab League summit (Alexandria)

The 1964 Arab League summit in Alexandria was held on 11 September 1964 in Montaza Palace, Alexandria as the second Arab League Summit. The focus of the conference was to implement the plans discussed at the first Arab League summit held in January of that year. The summit was notable for being a key step in the buildup to the Six-Day War in 1967 and separately for "approving the establishment of the Palestine Liberation Organization."

Member states of the Arab League

The Arab League has 22 member states. It was founded in Cairo in March 1945 with six members: the Kingdom of Egypt, Kingdom of Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Republic, and Transjordan. North Yemen joined on 5 May 1945. Membership increased during the second half of the 20th century. Five countries have observer status.

Arabs in Serbia are mostly expatriates from a range of Arab countries, particularly Libya, Lebanon, Syria, the Palestinian Territories, Iraq, and Jordan; and also small groups from Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, and Sudan. Lebanese and Syrian citizens were the first Arabs to arrive in modern Serbia. In the 1970s and 1980s, many students from Iraq and Syria were enrolled at the University of Belgrade. More recently, as a result of the Arab Spring and the Syrian Civil War, large numbers of Arabs are transiting Serbia as refugees, trying to immigrate to Western Europe.

Arab League boycott of Israel

The Arab League boycott of Israel is a strategy adopted by the Arab League and its member states to boycott economic and other relations between Arabs and the Arab states and Israel and specifically stopping all trade with Israel which adds to that country's economic and military strength. A secondary boycott was later imposed, to boycott non-Israeli companies that do business with Israel, and later a tertiary boycott involved the blacklisting of firms that that do business with other companies that do business with Israel.

The 2017 Arab League Summit was held in Jordan between 23 and 29 March 2017.


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