Skip to main content
Select Source:

League of Arab States

LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES

this foremost pan-arab organization provides the institutional expression for the aspiration of arab unity.

The League of Arab States, also known as the Arab League, is composed of twenty-two independent Arab states that have signed the Pact of the League of Arab States. Palestine, represented by the Palestinian Authority, is included as an independent state. The multipurpose League of Arab States seeks to promote Arab interests in general, but especially economic and security interests. It also works to resolve disputes among members and between member states and nonmember states. It has the image of unity in the protection of Arab independence and sovereignty. It promotes political, military, economic, social, cultural, and developmental cooperation among its members.

The league is an international governmental organization with permanent headquarters in Cairo, Egypt. From 1979 to 1990 its headquarters were in Tunis. It maintains delegations at United Nations


facilities in New York and Geneva, and at the Organization of African Unity in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It also has offices in such key cities as Washington, D.C., London, Moscow, Paris, Bonn, Beijing, Brussels, Vienna, Madrid, Rome, and New Delhi. The league has not realized the perfect Arab unity desired by some Arab nationalists. From its inception some states emphasized state sovereignty in accordance with the league's pact and rejected federalist or unionist proposals. The league not only serves the mutual interests of its members, but also reflects the differences. The league members agreed to an Arab Charter on Human Rights in 1994 and to the Arab Convention for the Suppression of Terrorism in 1998.

History


The League of Arab States was founded on 22 March 1945 with the signing of the pact by seven Arab states. Sixteen additional states joined, but in 1990 Yemen (Aden) and Yemen (Sanʿa) merged to form the Republic of Yemen, bringing the total to twenty-two.

Although the league was formed after World War II, the process that led to its creation is a function of the development of Arab nationalism, which predated the twentieth century but grew dramatically after World War II. Egyptian prime minister

Mustafa al-Nahhas, Iraqi prime minister Nuri alSaʿid, and Transjordan's King Abdullah I ibn Hussein are credited with being early architects of the league in the 1940s. The British initiated, in part, the preparatory talks leading to its creation. In the fall of 1944, seven Arab states met in Alexandria, Egypt, to discuss the creation of a "Commonwealth of Arab States." On 7 October 1944 Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Transjordan signed the Alexandria Protocol, which envisioned a league of independent states, rather than a union or federation. The main points of the protocol were subsequently incorporated into the league, as was an appendix stressing Palestinian independence. The league's initial members were Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Transjordan (now Jordan), and Yemen (Sanaa).

The league's general structure has remained intact since its formation, but the scope of its activities has expanded dramatically, especially in nonpolitical fields. The organization consists of a council, special committees, and a secretariat-general. In addition, the league has become an umbrella organization responsible for the numerous specialized agencies, unions, and other institutions created to promote Arab interests.

Organization


The pact established a council as the league's principal organ. It is composed of representatives of each member state, with each state having one vote. Unanimous decisions of the council are binding on all members. Majority decisions are binding only on those members that accepted them, except that majority decisions are enforceable on all members for certain specific matters relating to personnel, the budget, administrative regulations, and adjournment. The council implements league policies and pursues league goals. It meets twice a year, in March and September, but extraordinary meetings can be called at the request of two members.

Special committees have been established to support and represent the council. The league's committees have included the Political Committee, Culture Committee, Communications Committee, Social Committee, Legal Committee, Arab Oil Experts Committee, Information Committee, Health Committee, Human Rights Committee, Permanent Committee for Administration and Financial Affairs, Permanent Committee for Meteorology, Committee of Arab Experts on Cooperation, Arab Women's Committee, Organization of Youth Welfare, and Conference of Liaison Officers.

The secretariat-general consists of the secretary-general, assistant secretaries-general, and other principal officials of the league. It is responsible for administrative and financial activities. The council, with the approval of a two-thirds majority of the league's members, appoints the secretary-general to a renewable five-year term. The secretary-general has the rank of ambassador.

The office of the secretary-general was held by Egyptians during the first three decades of the league: Abd al-Rahman al-Azzam (19451952); Abd alKhaliq Hassuna (19521972); and Mahmud Riyad (19721979). A Tunisian, Chadli Klibi, held the post from 1979 until 1990. He resigned during the controversy surrounding the Gulf Crisis. Ahmad Ismat Abd al-Majid, an Egyptian, served as secretary-general from May 1991 to 2001. He was followed in 2001 by the popular Egyptian foreign minister Amr Moussa (also Musa).

In 1950 the Treaty of Joint Defense and Economic Cooperation complemented the league pact and provided for the establishment of the Joint Defense Council and the Permanent Military Commission. An Economic Council was set up under the treaty in 1953. An Arab Unified Military Command was formed in 1964. In 1976 an Arab Deterrent Force was sent to Lebanon under league auspices.


Financing


The League of Arab States is financed by an assessment of charges made to each member. The secretary-general prepares a draft budget and submits it to the council for approval before the beginning of each fiscal year. The council then fixes the share of the expenses or dues to be paid by each member state. This share may be reconsidered if necessary.

Issues at Arab League summits
no. date and location resolutions, outcomes
Table by GGS Information Services, The Gale Group.
1st january 1964, cairo agreed to oppose "the robbery of the waters of jordan by israel."
2nd september 1964, alexandria supported the establishment of the palestine liberation organization (plo) in its effort to liberate palestine from the zionists.
3rd september 1965, casablanca opposed "intra-arab hostile propaganda."
4th 29 august1 september 1967, khartoum held post-1967 arab-israeli war, which ended with crushing israeli victory; declared three "no's": "no negotiation with israel, no treaty, no recognition of israel."
5th december 1969, rabat called for the mobilization of member countries against israel.
6th november 1973, algiers held in the wake of the 1973 arab-israeli war, it set strict guidelines for dialogue with israel.
7th 30 october2 november 1974, rabat declared the plo to be "the sole and legitimate representative of the palestinian people," who had "the right to establish the independent state of palestine on any liberated territory."
8th october 1976, cairo approved the establishment of a peacekeeping force (arab deterrent force) for the lebanese civil war.
9th november 1978, baghdad condemned the camp david peace accords between egypt and israel, and threatened egypt with sanctions, including the suspension of its membership if egypt signed a treaty with israel.
10th november 1979, tunis held in the wake of israel's invasion of lebanon in 1978, it discussed israel's occupation of southern lebanon.
11th november 1980, amman formulated a strategy for economic development among league members until 2000.
12th november 1981/september 1982, fez meeting was suspended due to resistance to a peace plan drafted by saudi crown prince fahd, which implied de facto recognition of the jewish state. in september 1982 at fez, the meeting reconvened to adopt a modified version of the fahd plan, called the fez plan.
13th august 1985, casablanca failed to back a plo-jordanian agreement that envisaged talks with israel about palestinian rights. summit boycotted by five member states.
14th november 1987, amman supported un security council resolution 598 regarding cease-fire in the iran-iraq war. also declared that individual member states could decide to resume diplomatic ties with egypt.
15th june 1988, casablanca decided to financially support the plo in sustaining the intifada in the occupied territories.
16th may 1989, casablanca readmitted egypt into arab league, and set up tripartite committee to secure a cease-fire in the lebanese civil war and re-establish a constitutional government in lebanon.
17th may 1990, baghdad denounced recent increase of soviet jewish immigration to israel.
18th august 1990, cairo 12 out of 20 members present condemned iraq for invading and annexing kuwait. agreed to deploy troops to assist saudi and other gulf states' armed forces.
19th june 1995, cairo held after a hiatus of five years. iraq not invited.
20th october 2000, cairo set up funds to help the palestinians' second intifada against the israeli occupation, and called on its members to freeze their relations with israel. iraq was invited.
21st march 2001, amman held after the election of ariel sharon as israel's prime minister, it appointed egypt's amr mousa as the arab league's new secretary-general.
22nd march 2002, beirut adopted the saudi peace plan of crown prince abdullah, which offered israel total peace in exchange for total israeli withdrawal from arab territories conquered in the 1967 war. opposed the use of force against iraq.
23rd march 2003, sharm al-sheikh, egypt agreed not to participate in the u.s.-led attack on iraq, but allowed the united states to use military bases in some of their countries.

The league experienced significant difficulties in the collection of member-state dues in the aftermath of the Gulf Crisis (19901991) and subsequently. Its 1991 budget was over $27 million, with the largest share being assessed to Saudi Arabia (14%), Kuwait (14%), Libya (12%), Iraq (10%), Egypt (8.5%), Algeria (8%), the United Arab Emi-rates (6.5%), and Morocco (5%). Bahrain, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, and Yemen had reservations concerning their share of the league budget. The 1999 budget was set at $26.5 million, but when Amr Moussa took office in 2001, it was estimated at $50 million. Also, late dues reportedly had reached $100 million, with some states more than a decade in arrears. According to Article 15 of the league's bylaws, approved in 1973, members can be denied voting rights if their delinquent dues total more than their total assessment of the current year and the two preceding years.


Policy


The League of Arab States has had a significant impact on the Middle East and on its members. Although it has not been a stepping-stone to Arab political unity, it has fostered Arab cooperation in many fields. Cooperation on political questions, however, has been difficult. In fact, political conflicts in the Arab world are frequently reflected in the league. Governmental diversity is protected in the league pact, which requires each member to respect the systems of government of other members. The pact also requires states to abstain from action calculated to change the systems of government in other members.

The Cold War served to draw political lines within the league between clients of the United States and those of the Soviet Union. Despite the wealth of some of its members, the league is more closely aligned to the South in the North-South conflict, sometimes acting as a bloc for the South in the United Nations.

The league has actively sought to bolster Arab security, but its efforts are limited by inter-Arab rivalries. It has facilitated the peaceful settlement of disputes between its members, as between Morocco and Mauritania; between groups within member states, as in Lebanon or Somalia; and between members and outside parties, as between Libya and the United States. The league has acted as a regional alternative to the United Nations in this regard.

The league has been united in its support for Palestine vis-à-vis Israel, but has come under increasing criticism in recent years for failing to do enough for the Palestinians and for Iraq. Egypt's treaty with Israel (the 1978 Camp David Accords) resulted in its suspension from the league from 1979 to 1989. Members were also divided over the Fahd Plan (1981); over the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO); and over the Iran-Iraq War (19801988). Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and the first Gulf War (1991) prompted additional controversy. The U.S. move against Iraq in 2003 brought strong and united condemnation of "American-British aggression against Iraq." The league also emphasized its cooperation with the United Nations.

Membership


League members are: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. In November 2002 Libya asked to withdraw its membership. Any independent Arab state is theoretically entitled to become a member, but a request for membership must be made through the permanent secretariat-general of the league and submitted to the council. Eritrea assumed an observer status in January 2003.


Satellite Organizations


Numerous specialized organizations and other institutions that promote Arab cooperation and protect Arab interests in a wide array of fields fall under the league umbrella. These include, among others: the Academy of Arab Music; Administrative Tribunal of the Arab League; Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa; Arab Bureau of Narcotics; Arab Bureau for Prevention of Crime; Arab Bureau of Criminal Police; Arab Center for the Study of Arid Zones and Dry Lands; Arab Civil Aviation Council; Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development; Arab Fund for Technical Assistance to Africa and Arab Countries; Arab Industrial Development Organization; Arab Labour Organization; Arab League Educational, Cultural, and Scientific Organization; Arab Maritime Transport Academy; Arab Monetary Fund; Arab Organization for Agricultural Development; Arab Organization for Standardization and Metrology; Arab Organization of Administrative Sciences; Arab Postal Union; Arab Satellite Communications Organization; Arab States Broadcasting Union; Arab Telecommunications Union; Council of Arab Economic Unity; Council of Arab Ministers of the Interior; Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corporation; Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries; and the Special Bureau for Boycotting Israel.


Prospects


After the second Persian Gulf war in 2003, relations between member states of the league remained uncertain. Amr Moussa moved to reunify the Arab ranks and worked through the United Nations. The uncertainties unleashed in the gulf spawned new dangers aimed at regimes friendly to the United States. The crisis offers new challenges to Arab leadership that could enhance the role of the Arab League. The league's aspiration of Arab unity will be central to the creation of a new world order, as will the inevitable divisions in the Arab ranks. Arab cooperation in nonpolitical areas will continue under the league's aegis and will promote not only improved relations among Arabs, but also between Arabs and outside states and organizations.

see also abdullah i ibn hussein; arab boycott; camp david accords (1978); fahd plan (1981); gulf crisis (19901991); nahhas, mustafa al-; organization of arab petroleum exporting countries (oapec); palestine liberation organization (plo).


Bibliography


Arab League. Available from <http://www.arableagueonline.org/arableague>.

Burdett, Anita, ed. The Arab League: British Documentary Sources, 19431963. Slough, U.K.: Archive Editions, 1995.

Hasou, Tawfiq Y. The Struggle for the Arab World: Egypt's Nasser and the Arab League. Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1985.

Hassouna, Hussein A. The League of Arab States and Regional Disputes: A Study in Middle East Conflicts. Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana Publications, 1975.

MacDonald, Robert W. The League of Arab States: A Study in the Dynamics of Regional Organization. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1965.

Pogany, Istvan S. The Arab League and Peacekeeping in the Lebanon. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1988.

Riad, Mahmoud. The Struggle for Peace in the Middle East. New York: Quartet Books, 1981.

Zamzami, Sirag G. "The Origins of the League of Arab States and Its Activities within the Member States: 19421970." Ph.D. diss., Claremont Graduate School, 1978.

charles g. macdonald

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"League of Arab States." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"League of Arab States." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 11, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/league-arab-states

"League of Arab States." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Retrieved September 11, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/league-arab-states

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

League of Arab States

League of Arab States: see Arab League.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"League of Arab States." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"League of Arab States." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 11, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/league-arab-states

"League of Arab States." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 11, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/league-arab-states

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

League of Arab States

LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES

An international institution, the Arab League (officially the League of Arab States) was founded in Cairo on 22 March 1945. At its creation the Arab League comprised Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen. The first secretary general of the organization was Abd al-Rahman al-Azzam, an Egyptian diplomat. The Arab League proposed strengthening ties between Arab states and coordinating regional economic and military policy, while refraining from intervening in any conflict between league members. The impulse to create a pan-Arab organization was the product of the ongoing Arab nationalist movement, but during World War II it was also encouraged by the British as a means of influencing Arab public opinion at a time when it appeared that the Germans might well conquer North Africa. With British help, an international conference was convened in Alexandria in September 1944, producing an agreement called the Alexandria Protocol on 7 October. The formal creation of the League—an association of independent Arab states rather than the pan-Arab federation its original promoters had envisioned—followed the next year.

In 1958 the League was recognized by the United Nations (UN) as a regional intergovernmental organization, and it has coordinated with the UN in its various social, cultural, and scientific programs. Headquartered in Cairo, it is the most important Arab venue for official cooperation in matters of education, social, and health issues, mainly through its Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ALESCO), founded in 1964. In 2004, the League has twenty-two members: the original seven plus Libya (joined 1953), Sudan (1956), Tunisia (1958), Morocco (1958), Kuwait (1961), Algeria (1962), Bahrain (1971), Oman (1971), Qatar (1971), the United Arab Emirates (UAE, 1971), Mauritania (1973), Palestine (originally as the PLO, 1974), Somalia (1974), Djibouti (1977), and the Comoros Islands (1996). South Yemen was also a member from 1967 until 1990, when it united with Yemen. It is believed that the League employs some 540 staff and has a budget of around $27 million.

From its very beginnings the Arab League supported the Palestinian cause, although it was often ineffective due to political differences and rivalries among the Arab states. The League provided for permanent Palestinian representation on the League Council, the main policy-making body; the first Palestinian representative was Musa al-Alami, who had taken part in the Alexandria conference. In September 1946, the League helped to reestablish the Arab Higher Committee (AHC) to represent the principal Palestinian political forces. In July 1948 it attempted to create a civil administration for the areas of Palestine not yet occupied by the Israelis, but was unable to overcome both political dissension within the AHC and opposition within the League by King Abdullah I of Transjordan, who wished to annex those areas. In September 1948, at the insistence of Egypt, which opposed Abdullah's plans, the League helped the AHC to create the All-Palestine Government in Gaza, which lasted only a few weeks. After the 1948–1949 War the League adopted a policy of nonrecognition of Israel and supported the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. It rejected all later proposals to resettle the refugees permanently outside Palestine. It also cooperated with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to assist the refugees. The League declared that, although it supported the liberation of Palestine, it would not use military force to achieve it. In 1950, however, it created the Joint Defense and Economic Cooperation Treaty (JDECT) as a defensive measure against Israel. The League also instituted an economic boycott of Israel, at first (1946) against Zionist-produced goods from Palestine, later (1948) banning all trade between Arab states and Israel or companies doing business with Israel; it established a Central Office for the Boycott of Israel (OB) in Damascus in 1951. Enforcement was voluntary and inconsistent, and the boycott never seriously affected the Israeli economy. Other major actions taken by the League affecting the Palestinian-Israeli conflict were:

Issues at Arab League summits
No. Date and location Resolutions, outcomes
1stJanuary 1964, CairoAgreed to oppose "the robbery of the waters of Jordan by Israel."
2ndSeptember 1964, AlexandriaSupported the establishment of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in its effort to liberate Palestine from the Zionists.
3rdSeptember 1965, CasablancaOpposed "intra-Arab hostile propaganda."
4th29 August–1 September 1967, KhartoumHeld post-1967 Arab-Israeli War, which ended with crushing Israeli victory; declared three "no's": "no negotiation with Israel, no treaty, no recognition of Israel."
5thDecember 1969, RabatCalled for the mobilization of member countries against Israel.
6thNovember 1973, AlgiersHeld in the wake of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, it set strict guidelines for dialogue with Israel.
7th30 October–2 November 1974, RabatDeclared the PLO to be "the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people," who had "the right to establish the independent state of Palestine on any liberated territory."
8thOctober 1976, CairoApproved the establishment of a peacekeeping force (Arab Deterrent Force) for the Lebanese Civil War.
9thNovember 1978, BaghdadCondemned the Camp David Peace Accords between Egypt and Israel, and threatened Egypt with sanctions, including the suspension of its membership if Egypt signed a treaty with Israel.
10thNovember 1979, TunisHeld in the wake of Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1978, it discussed Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon.
11thNovember 1980, AmmanFormulated a strategy for economic development among League members until 2000.
12thNovember 1981/September 1982, FezMeeting was suspended due to resistance to a peace plan drafted by Saudi crown prince Fahd, which implied de facto recognition of the Jewish state. In September 1982 at Fez, the meeting reconvened to adopt a modified version of the Fahd Plan, called the Fez Plan.
13thAugust 1985, CasablancaFailed to back a PLO-Jordanian agreement that envisaged talks with Israel about Palestinian rights. Summit boycotted by five member states.
14thNovember 1987, AmmanSupported UN Security Council Resolution 598 regarding cease-fire in the Iran-Iraq War. Also declared that individual member states could decide to resume diplomatic ties with Egypt.
15thJune 1988, CasablancaDecided to financially support the PLO in sustaining the Intifada in the occupied territories.
16thMay 1989, CasablancaReadmitted Egypt into Arab League, and set up Tripartite Committee to secure a cease-fire in the Lebanese Civil War and re-establish a constitutional government in Lebanon.
17thMay 1990, BaghdadDenounced recent increase of Soviet Jewish immigration to Israel.
18thAugust 1990, Cairo12 out of 20 members present condemned Iraq for invading and annexing Kuwait. Agreed to deploy troops to assist Saudi and other Gulf states' armed forces.
19thJune 1995, CairoHeld after a hiatus of five years. Iraq not invited.
20thOctober 2000, CairoSet up funds to help the Palestinians' Second Intifada against the Israeli occupation, and called on its members to freeze their relations with Israel. Iraq was invited.
21stMarch 2001, AmmanHeld after the election of Ariel Sharon as Israel's prime minister, it appointed Egypt's Amr Mousa as the Arab League's new secretary-general.
22ndMarch 2002, BeirutAdopted the Saudi Peace Plan of Crown Prince Abdullah, which offered Israel total peace in exchange for total Israeli withdrawal from Arab territories conquered in the 1967 war. Opposed the use of force against Iraq.
23rdMarch 2003, Sharm al-Sheikh, EgyptAgreed not to participate in the U.S.-led attack on Iraq, but allowed the United States to use military bases in some of their countries.
24thMay 2004, TunisRejected stand taken by the U.S. and Israel in the Arab-Israeli conflict and supported a peace process founded on international legitimacy, UN resolutions and the principle of land against peace.



In April 1959, at the urging of Egypt, the League adopted a resolution providing for the expulsion of any member state that negotiated a separate peace with Israel.

In May 1964, at the urging of Egypt, the League supported the creation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA). The League regularly supported the PLO's efforts to achieve international recognition.

In September 1967, after the June 1967 War, the League declared its continuing support for the Palestinian cause and established a policy of not recognizing or negotiating with Israel.

In November 1973 the League set conditions to be met for members to engage in talks with Israel. The following November the League recognized the PLO as the only legitimate representative body of the Palestinians, recognized its right to establish a Palestinian state, and admitted it as a full member of the League.

In October 1976 the League agreed to form an Arab Deterrent Force to intervene in the Lebanese Civil War.

In November 1978 the League condemned the Camp David Accords and invoked sanctions against Egypt. They failed to agree on a response to the Israeli invasion of South Lebanon from March to June. In 1979, after the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty in March, the League expelled Egypt under the terms of the 1959 resolution (member states also suspended diplomatic relations); moved the League's headquarters to Tunis. This was the beginning of a period of crisis and dissension in the Arab world, in large part over Israel and the status of Palestine, that affected the League's functioning. Some League summit meetings were boycotted by some states, at least one summit was canceled, and few accords were ratified by the Council.

In September 1982 they approved the Fez Initiative, based on the Fahd Plan, disagreement over which had caused the cancellation of a League summit the previous year. It called for withdrawal of Israel from the Occupied Territories and eventual establishment of a Palestinian state in them—amounting to a tacit recognition of Israel within the pre-1967 borders.

In August 1985 the League could not agree to support an agreement between the PLO and Jordan. In November 1987 the League declared that members were free to resume diplomatic relations with Egypt. In June 1988 the League agreed to assist the PLO financially in the Intifada, and in May 1989 readmitted Egypt to membership. They also agreed to mediate a truce in the Lebanese Civil War.

In August 1990 the League was divided over the issue of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. League headquarters returned to Cairo in October of the same year.

In March 2000 the League passed a resolution reaffirming the right of Lebanon to fight against the Israeli occupation and demanding that the right of return of the Palestinian refugees be respected. In October, after the start of the al-Aqsa Intifada, they called on members to suspend relations with Israel and agreed to financial aid for the Palestinians.

In January 2001 the League accorded its unanimous support to the position of the Palestinian Authority on peace conditions with Israel. On 24 March of that year, Amr Mousa, Egyptian minister of foreign affairs, was chosen, unanimously, as secretary general of the League. (Except for the period 1978–1990, the secretary general of the League has always been an Egyptian.) A restructuring plan was put into effect, with the principal innovation being the establishment of positions of general commissioners. These posts have been given to influential personalities of the Arab world. In July, Hanan Ashrawi, an important Palestinian political figure, became commissioner for information. The following month, the former Jordanian prime minister, Taher al-Masri, was named commissioner for civil society affairs, and the former Egyptian minister of culture, Ahmed Kamal Abul Magd, became commissioner for "dialogue among civilizations."

In late May 2004, while Israeli forces were attacking the Rafah Palestinian refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, in a show of force involving rocket attacks on civilian neighborhoods and mass house demolitions, the Arab League held a summit meeting in Tunis. It was to have been held earlier but had been postponed over disagreements about the issues of democratic reform on the agenda. Some governments skipped the meeting. Although individual governments and politicians had condemned Israel's actions and American support for them, the League summit generally avoided the subject.

SEE ALSO All-Palestine Government; Arab Deterrent Force; Arab Higher Committee; Fahd Plan; Intifada, al-Aqsa.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"League of Arab States." Dictionary of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"League of Arab States." Dictionary of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 11, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/politics/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/league-arab-states

"League of Arab States." Dictionary of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. . Retrieved September 11, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/politics/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/league-arab-states

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.