Quick facts about the Arab League | CNN


Here’s a look at the Arab League, an organization of Middle Eastern and African countries, and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Ahmed Aboul Gheit from Egypt is the current Secretary General of the Arab League.

There are also four observer states: Eritrea, India, Brazil and Venezuela.

The purpose of the Arab League, from the Covenant of the League of Arab States, is to promote closer political, economic, cultural and social relations between its members.

A council composed of representatives of the member states works together to settle disputes peacefully. The league has five major committees: political, economic, social and cultural, legal and Palestinian affairs.

Each member has one vote in the council. Decisions are binding only on those states that have voted for them.

March 22, 1945 – The Arab League was created in Cairo with seven Arab countries – Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the Lebanese Republic, Yemen (Sanaa), Transjordan (now Jordan), Egypt and Syria.

Since 1945, 16 other members have joined – Libya (1953), Sudan (1956), Morocco (1958), Tunisia (1958), Kuwait (1961), Algeria (1962), Yemen (Aden, 1968), Bahrain (1971) , Oman (1971), Qatar (1971), United Arab Emirates (1971), Mauritania (1973), Somalia (1974), PLO (1976), Djibouti (1977) and Comoros (1993).

April 13, 1950 – League members sign an agreement on joint defense and financial cooperation.

1959 – The league is holding the first Arab oil congress.

1964 – The league organizes the Arab League Education, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO).

1976 – ARABSAT, an Arab communications satellite system, is formed.

March 26, 1979 – Egypt signs peace agreement with Israel. The league suspends Egypt’s membership and transfers its headquarters from Cairo to Tunis, Tunisia.

1989 – Egypt rejoins the league; later the headquarters are moved back to Cairo.

1990 – Yemen (Aden) and Yemen (Sanaa) are united as Yemen.

August 1990 – The league is divided over the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. Members are divided in a vote on a proposal to send Arab troops to join the troops defending Saudi Arabia against possible attacks. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Djibouti and Somalia support the presence of foreign troops in Saudi Arabia.

2003 – All league members except Kuwait are officially against a US-led war against Iraq. However, some members besides Kuwait, including Bahrain and Qatar, allow their territory to be used.

April 23, 2006 – Arab League spokesman Hisham Yusif announces that the organization has promised to transfer $ 50 million to the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority. This is in response to the US and EU cutting direct funding to the Hamas-led government that took power on March 30.

March 29-30, 2009 – A two-day summit will take place in Doha, Qatar. Sudanese President Omar al Bashir is attending despite an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court.

February 22, 2011 – The Arab League issues a statement saying it suspends Libya’s participation in Arab League meetings and all group agencies. The statement also condemned what it called crimes against protesters and peaceful strikers in Libya.

March 3, 2011 – A summit scheduled for March 29 in Baghdad, Iraq, has been postponed due to unrest in several Arab League countries.

March 12, 2011 – The Arab League is asking the UN Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya.

July 13, 2011 – Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Al-Araby visits Syria and meets with President Bashar al-Assad.

November 12, 2011 – The Arab League suspends Syria’s membership with effect from 16 November 2011 in response to Syria’s continued violence against its own citizens. 18 members vote for the suspension, while Lebanon and Yemen vote no. Iraq abstained.

December 19, 2011 – Syria signs a proposal from the Arab League aimed at halting violence between government forces and protesters.

December 26, 2011 – Members of an Arab League delegation arrive in Syria to monitor on-site events.

January 28, 2012 – The Arab League is suspending its mission in Syria as violence in the country continues.

November 12, 2012 – State media reports that the Arab League has approved the resolution to recognize the new national coalition forces from the Syrian revolution, which unites Syrian opposition factions.

28.-29. March 2015 – The 26th Arab League Summit takes place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. All leaders agree to create a multinational military force to combat threats to the Middle East.

July 25, 2016 – The Arab League summit is being held in Nouakchott, Mauritania, but only seven leaders from the 22 member countries are participating. The meetings focus on the fight against terrorism and how to deal with other conflicts in the region.

24.-25. February 2019 – The first ever EU-Arab League summit will be held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

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