- Arab League
a confederation formed in 1945 by Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, and Yemen and later joined by Libya, Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia, Kuwait, Algeria, Bahrain, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, and the United Arab Emirates.
* * *or League of Arab StatesRegional organization formed in 1945 and based in Cairo.It initially comprised Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Transjordan (now Jordan), Saudi Arabia, and Yemen; joining later were Libya, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco, Kuwait, Algeria, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Mauritania, Somalia, the Palestine Liberation Organization, Djibouti, and Comoros. The league's original aims were to strengthen and coordinate political, cultural, economic, and social programs and to mediate disputes; a later aim was to coordinate military defense. Members have often split on political issues; Egypt was suspended for 10 years (1979–89) following its peace with Israel, and the Persian Gulf War (1990–91) also caused deep rifts. See also Pan-Arabism.
* * *also called League Of Arab States (LAS) , Arabic Al-Jāmiʿa Al-ʿArabīyah, or Al-Jāmiʿa Ad-Duwal Al-ʿArabīyah,regional organization of Arab states in the Middle East, formed in Cairo on March 22, 1945. The founding member states were Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Transjordan (now Jordan), Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. Other members are Libya (1953); The Sudan (1956); Tunisia and Morocco (1958); Kuwait (1961); Algeria (1962); Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (1971); Mauritania (1973); Somalia (1974); the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO; 1976); Djibouti (1977); and the Comoros (1993). (When Yemen was a divided country, from 1967 to 1990, the two regimes were separately represented.) Each member has one vote on the League Council, decisions being binding only on 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. The signing on April 13, 1950, of an agreement on joint defense and economic cooperation also committed the signatories to coordination of military defense measures.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 (ALECSO). Also in 1964, despite objections by Jordan, the league admitted the PLO as the representative of all Palestinians. Under the leadership of Mahmoud Riad, the third secretary-general (1972–79), political activity increased. The league, however, was weakened by internal dissension on political issues, especially those concerning Israel and the Palestinians. After Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel on March 26, 1979, the other members of the Arab League voted to suspend Egypt's membership and to transfer the league's headquarters from Cairo to Tunis. Egypt was reinstated as a member of the Arab League in 1989, and the league's headquarters returned to Cairo in 1990.The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and the later involvement, at the request of Saudi Arabia, of Western countries—mainly the United States—in ridding Kuwait of Iraqi presence caused a deep rift in the league. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Djibouti, and Somalia endorsed the presence of foreign troops in Saudi Arabia, and all but the last three had some degree (however slight) of military involvement in the war.
* * *