Arab League

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Posted by sonny 04/03/2009 @ 07:08

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Egypt to Be Center Stage in Obama's Address to Arabs - New York Times
That is why Egypt — along with the 21 other members of the Arab League — last week flatly rejected a proposal floated by Washington's emissaries in the region that called on the Arab states to drop their demands for the right of return for Palestinian...
AL calls for ceasefire, reconciliation in Somalia - Xinhua
CAIRO, May 13 (Xinhua) -- The Cairo-based Arab League (AL) called on Wednesday for ceasefire in Somalia and dialogue to resolve the differences and reach a comprehensive reconciliation in the war-torn country. The General Secretariat of AL asked all...
Arab League welcomes upcoming visit by Obama -
CAIRO, May 10 (KUNA) -- The Arab League welcomed on Saturday reports about the upcoming visit by US President Barack Obama next month where he is scheduled to address in a speech the Muslim world. The League's Secretary General Amr Moussa said in a...
Israel weighs peace with all Muslims - The Australian
The London-based Arabic-language daily al-Quds al-Arabi reported last week that at Mr Obama's request, the Arab League was in the process of revising the peace plan to make it more amenable to Israel. The revisions would reportedly stipulate that a...
Vatican, Arab League to work to promote peace - The Associated Press
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Holy See and the Arab League have agreed to work together to promote peace and justice in the world, the Vatican said Friday, after a meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and the league's secretary-general. In a separate meeting,...
Mohammed bin Rashid receives Arab League's Secretary General - WAM - Emirates News Agency
WAM Dubai, 11 May 2009 (WAM) - Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum received here today Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Musa. Sheikh Mohammed and Musa reviewed a number...
Spell out Mideast policy, Obama told -
CAIRO – The Arab League called on US President Barack Obama on Saturday to use a keynote address in Egypt next month to spell out his administration's policy on the Middle East peace process. The 22-nation bloc said that by then he will have met...
How to Make the Neocons Crazy About the Middle East: Tell Them the ... - AlterNet
And several times since, when Palestinians were close to uniting around a similar peace proposal, the Israeli government has managed to torpedo the process -- just as it largely ignored the ground-breaking Arab League peace initiative of 2002....
Arab League seeks summit on terrorism - United Press International
VIENNA, April 24 (UPI) -- An Arab League official told a UN commission in Austria Friday that an international conference under UN auspices should meet to define terrorism clearly. Mohammad Ridhwan Bin Khadhra, the league's advisor for legal affairs,...
Egypt refusing to sign WMD treaties - Jerusalem Post
He said the Arab Initiative peace plan must remain as it was presented. Mubarak reiterated the hard-line position of the Arab League, sponsors of the plan, which has said the proposal must be accepted in its entirety, with no alterations,...

Arab League

Flag of the Arab League

Through institutions such as the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALESCO) 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 programs designed to promote the interests of the Arab world. 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 sets out the principles for economic activities in the region.

Each member state has one vote in the League Council, while 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 Defense and Economic Cooperation on April 13, 1950 committed the signatories to coordination of military defense measures.

The Arab league has played an important role in shaping school curricula, advancing the role of women in the Arab societies, promoting child welfare, encouraging youth and sports programs, preserving Arab cultural heritage, and fostering cultural exchanges between the member states. Literacy campaigns have been launched, intellectual works reproduced, and modern technical terminology is translated for the use within member states. The league encourages measures against crime and drug abuse, and deals with labor issues—particularly among the emigrant Arab workforce.

The Arab League was founded in Cairo in 1945 by Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Transjordan (Jordan from 1946), and Yemen. There was a continual increase in membership during the second half of the 20th century, with additional 15 Arab states and 3 observers being admitted.

Egypt's membership was suspended in 1979 after it signed the Egyptian–Israeli Peace Treaty, and the League's headquarters were moved from Cairo to Tunis. In 1987, Arab countries restored diplomatic relations with Egypt and the country was readmitted to the league in 1989 while the league's headquarters moved back to Cairo. In September 2006, Venezuela was accepted as an observer, and India in 2007.

Israel is not a member despite 20% of its population being of Arab origin, over half the Jewish population being descended from Jews from Arab countries, and Arabic being an official language. Neither is Chad a member, although Arabic is in both official and vernacular use there.

Four countries are observer states - a status that entitles them to express their opinion and give advice but denies them voting rights.

The current members and observers of the Arab League are listed below along with their admission dates.

The area of members of the Arab League covers around 14 million km2 and straddles two continents: Western Asia as well as Northern and Northeastern Africa. The area consists of large arid deserts, namely the Sahara. Nevertheless, it also contains several very fertile lands, such as the Nile Valley, the High Atlas Mountains, and the Fertile Crescent which stretches from Iraq over Syria and Lebanon to Palestine. The area comprises also deep forests in southern Arabia and southern Sudan as well as the major parts of the world's longest river—the Nile.

The area has witnessed the rise and fall of many ancient civilizations: Ancient Egypt, Rome, Ancient Israel, Assyria, Babylon, Phoenicia, Carthage, Kush, and Nabateans.

The Charter of the Arab League 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 and the committees were agreed in October 1951. Those of the Secretariat-General were agreed in May 1953.

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.

The Arab League is rich in resources, with enormous oil and natural gas resources; it also has great fertile lands in South of the Sudan, usually referred to as the food basket of the Arab World. The region's instability has not affected its tourism industry, that is considered the fastest growing industry in the region, with Egypt, UAE, Algeria, Tunisia, and Jordan leading the way. 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.

Economic achievements initiated by the League amongst member states have been less impressive than those achieved by other smaller Arab organizations such as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). However, several promising major economic projects are set to be completed soon. Among them is the Arab Gas Pipeline, scheduled to be accomplished in 2010. It will transport Egyptian and Iraqi gas to Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey. The Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA), planned to come into effect on January 1, 2008, will render 95% of all Arab products free of customs.

Economic development in the Arab League is very disparate. Significant difference in wealth and economic conditions exist between the rich oil states of UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, and Algeria on the one hand, and poor countries like the Comoros, Mauritania, and Djibouti on the other hand. Arab economic funding is under development. As an example, the Arab League agreed to support the Sudanese region of Darfur with 500 million dollars, and Egyptian and Libyan companies are planning to build several wells in this dry area.

This following table lists the gross domestic product (GDP) of the Arab League and its member states based on purchasing power parity (PPP) and measured in US dollar. If not indicated otherwise, the figures are based on the 2007 data published by the International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database, in April 2008.

At the Cairo Summit of 1964, the Arab League initiated the creation of an organization representing the Palestinian people. The first Palestinian National Council convened in East Jerusalem on May 29, 1964. The Palestinian Liberation Organization was founded during this meeting on June 2, 1964.

At the Beirut Summit on March 28, 2002 the league adopted the Arab Peace Initiative, a Saudi-inspired peace plan for the Arab–Israeli conflict. The initiative offered full normalization of the relations with Israel. In exchange, Israel was demanded to withdraw from all occupied territories, including the Golan Heights, to recognize an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and the 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. The mission was welcomed with reservations by Israel.

Following Venezuela's move to expel the resident Israeli diplomats amid the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, Kuwaiti member of parliament Waleed al-Tabtabai made a public plea to move the Arab League headquarters from Cairo to Caracas, Venezuela.

The Arab League is a culturally and ethnically diverse association of 22 member states, although a vast majority of the league concist of arab people. As of January 1, 2007, about 314,000,000 people live in the states of the Arab League. Its population grows faster than in most other global regions. This threatens to diminish the slow economic expansion expected in the league's developing countries.

The most populous member state is Egypt, with a population of about 80 million. The least populated is Djibouti, with about 500,000 inhabitants. Most of the Arab Gulf states have large populations of foreign laborers. The UAE's Arab population counts for less than 20% of its total population, while 50% originate from South- and Southeast Asia, although they are not citizens. Some Arab Gulf states also import cheap Arab labor, mainly from Egypt, Yemen, and Somalia.

Since large parts of the Arab League are deserts, the population is concentrated in and around cities where most the trade and industry are located. The largest Arab cities are Cairo, followed by Baghdad, Khartoum, Damascus, Riyadh, Alexandria and Casablanca.

The Arab League resembles the Organization of American States, the Council of Europe, and the African Union, in that it has primarily political aims. However, membership in the league is based on culture rather than geographical location. In this respect, the Arab League resembles organizations such as the Latin Union or the Caribbean Community.

The Arab League differs notably from the European Union, in that it has not achieved a significant degree of regional integration and the organization itself has no direct relations with the citizens of its member states. However, the Arab League is based on principles that support and promote a unified Arab nationalism and a common position among Arabic states on various issues.

All Arab League members are also members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. In turn, the memberships of the smaller GCC and Arab Maghreb Union organizations are subsets of that of the league.

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2007 Arab League summit

Flag of Summit

The 2007 Arab League Summit, also called the Riyadh Summit, refers to a convention of leaders from 21 members of the Arab League who gathered in Riyadh for the 19th Arab summit in March 2007. The summit convened on the 28 March 2007 and was preceded by a set of preparatory meetings starting on 24 March 2007. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the European Union's foreign policy chief Javier Solana also attended the summit. The main goal of the conference was to re-launch the Arab Peace Initiative.

The original venue of the 19th Arab summit was to be Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt; however, in mid-January 2007, Amr Moussa, Secretary-General of the Arab League, announced that the summit would convene in Riyadh. This, according to scholars, seemed an “indication that Saudi Arabia was keen to promote the cause of Arab unity.” Ambassador Mohamed Qattan, Saudi permanent representative to the Arab League, said, “The ongoing developments in the Arab region and the critical situation that the Arab peoples are passing through has prompted the Saudi monarch to call for the convocation of the summit in Riyadh rather than Sharm El-Sheikh.” Egyptian leaders did not publicly questioning the matter.

The venue, date and agenda of the annual Arab summit have always been an issue of contention, speculation and controversy. When Arab leaders met in Cairo in October 2000 to adopt a resolution proposing the annual convocation of the Arab summit, they decided that the chairmanship of the summit would be rotated among the 22 member states of the League, and that the summit should convene at the headquarters of the Arab League unless the chair wished to host it. In March 2001, Jordan chaired and hosted the Arab summit. This, however, was the first and last time in which the convocation of the Arab summit was a smooth operation.

A major issue that marred the 2007 Arab League summit was the absence of Libya. According to Libyan Foreign Minister Abdel Rahman Shalgham, Libya boycotted the summit in protest of the lack of “seriousness” of Arab countries. "All the Arabs now consider Iran to be the main enemy and have forgotten Israel," said Shalgham. While Arabs "keep pressing the Palestinians to respond to the conditions of the (Middle East) Quartet, no one presses Israel." In January 2007, Moussa traveled to Libya to discuss the matter with Libyan leader, Muammar al-Gaddafi. Moussa aimed to secure Libya’s participation in the Riyadh summit but ultimately failed. Libya's absence has also been attributed to a public quarrel that al-Gaddafi had with King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia in 2003 over the United States military presence in the region.

According to the scholar, Roger Hardy, the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative was revived “because it is a starting point on the Palestinian issue that most parties can accept—although with reservations.” Moreover, some have speculated that the re-initialization of the peace plan was a move to counter Iran’s growing influence in the region. It was widely viewed by scholars around the world that it would be in Israel’s best interest to act respectfully to Saudi Arabia’s supremacy in Middle East affairs, especially if Arab states begin to line up behind an anti-Iranian position. Through positive actions, Israel could eventually become accepted into the Arab world.

Differences of principle between Israel and Arab League members over some of the elements in the proposed arrangement made it difficult to translate the initiative into an actual agreement. Moreover, the absence of an authoritative Palestinian interlocutor was another impediment to achieving peace through the Arab Peace Initiative. The President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, supported the initiative, but Hamas leaders refrained from endorsing even the conditional readiness to recognize Israel. As part of an effort to bridge that gap and lay the foundation for a unified Palestinian delegation, pre-Summit preparations included diplomatic steps to establish a Palestinian national unity government. That government was sworn in on March 17, 2007 on the basis of the agreement reached in Mecca under the aegis of the so-called “Arab Quartet”—Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates.

The national unity government’s policy guidelines include detailed political positions, including an obligation to create a Palestinian state in the territories captured by Israel in 1967 and the recognition of Arab Summit conference resolutions over the years. To that list was added Palestinian recognition of Israel, which Hamas refused to embrace. In addition, Hamas continually demands a “right of return” for all Palestinians who fled or were driven out of what is now Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal was quoted by Saudi media as urging Arab leaders ahead of the summit not to make concessions on the demand for the Palestinian refugees to return home. Hamas refuses to recognize Israel, but Palestinian officials have agreed not to go against the peace plan. Moreover, on the eve of the Riyadh summit, American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice persuaded Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Abbas to agree to meet on a regular basis, but Israel maintained its economic embargo on the Palestinian government and its military pressure in the territory of the Palestinian Authority. These measures were viewed as a means to either weaken Hamas or, alternatively, to encourage a change in its position vis-à-vis Israel.

The power struggle in Palestine will, consequently, make it impossible to implement any security understandings reached in the past or future between Israel and Abbas. The official statement from the Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman said, “Israel is sincerely interested in pursuing a dialogue with those Arab states that desire peace with Israel, this in order to promote a process of normalization and cooperation. Israel hopes that the Riyadh Summit will contribute to this effort.” Furthermore, the Israeli spokesman explained, “Israel also believes that moderate Arab states can fill a positive role by encouraging regional cooperation, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian track. A dialogue between these states and Israel can contribute to this end.” Many Israelis were disenchanted, however, especially when remembering the results of previous Arab League summits and the current Hamas-dominated Palestinian leadership. The hope, however, is that the political partnership with Fatah will move Hamas closer to the center of Palestinian politics. Moreover, the revival of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative is clearly a product of inter-Arab politics that reflects hope for a peaceful conclusion to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Leaders of the Arab League present at the Riyadh Summit in 2007 hoped to achieve security and stability in Iraq. The Iraqi Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari revealed that draft laws in support of Iraq would arise at the Riyadh summit. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani expressed optimism for the possibilities of such laws. Leaders at the summit stated that “Iraq’s stability and overcoming of its present crisis required a balanced political and security solution addressing the causes of the crisis and weeding out the roots of terrorism and sectarian sedition.” Moreover, the leaders stressed, “The Arab perception of a political and security solution for the challenges faced by Iraq is based on respect for Iraq’s unity, sovereignty, independence and Arab-Islamic identity.” Furthermore, Arab leaders at the Riyadh summit stressed that the establishment of security and stability is the sole responsibility of the Iraqi national unity government, constitutional institutions, and political leaders. Also, the summit strongly condemned the acts of terror against the Iraqi people and their institutions. Moreover, leaders showed their support for the Iraqi government’s efforts to reorganize its security institutions on nationalistic and professional basis, calling for effective Arab participation in these efforts. Furthermore, leaders urged member states to write off debts owed by Iraq.

Moreover, Saudi Arabia still has not created diplomatic ties with Israel because of Israel’s continued negative treatment of Palestinians.

The situation in Iraq is still grim; stability still has not been achieved.

In many ways, it is too soon to tell whether the Riyadh Summit of 2007 has had long-lasting positive effects on tensions in the Middle East. Its resolutions, however, were a positive step in the right direction.

Upon completion of the summit meeting, leaders of the Arab League decided to reconvene for the 20th Arab League summit in Syria in March 2008.

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Foreign relations of the Arab League

Amr Moussa Shaking Hands with the Russian President Vladimir Putin

The Arab League was founded in 1945 and has 22 members.

The Organization has three observer members Eritrea, India and Venezuela. Turkey and Iran have 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.

The Arab League itself is an Observer in several International and regional organizations, such as the Non-Aligned Movement, the African Union, the United Nations, and has observed several summits of ASEAN.

Even though there are nine Arab League members that are also members of the African Union, The Arab League/African Union relations officially started in 1977 when the AU was the OAU, when both organizations announced their cooperation in financial, political and economic issues. With a summit between both organizations in Cairo that same year, they have signed several treaties to include each other to improve cooperation. The Treaty also included a Military cooperation and Understanding too. On the 16th of January 2008, the Arab League sent a Delegation to the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Capital, to gain Experience from the African Security and Peace Council, which has been in work since 2004, the Arab League's decision to create an Arab Peace and Security Council was taken following the 2006 Lebanon war, in a procedure to place Peace keeping forces into Darfure, South Lebanon, and Somalia, other regions such as Iraq have not been announced or spoken of, since the Arab League's official Stance denounces any form of Foreign troops in Iraq, to maintain stability.

By January 2008 the AL and ASEAN had no significant relations, but the Arab League's Economic Council decided to Expand economic cooperation with Regional blocks, to benefit from their Economic experience and development, and started contacting the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), to build better relations and to increase investments from this region, and to learn from their Economic Achievements to be applied in the League. which will help the Arab States to increase inner investments and inner imports and exports, the Head of the Delegation, also secretary General of the Arab Council for Economic Development (ACED), Dr. Ahmed Jweily to sign a treaty of understanding and cooperation Between the Two Organizations. The Delegation concluded the visit announcing that three New Arab Unions are to be proposed for the Council's 87th summit in its following Period.

France has been historically close with the Arab world, starting with the Maghrib region, and the Near East, but France's closest relations are considered to be with Algeria, where it served as a colony of France for around 200 years, with a bloody independence war, relations today are good, France is considered to have the Cordialest relations with All Arab states, with a large Aarb population in France counting to around 1 million Arabs, France holds the Biggest Arab Cultural center outside the Arab league.

Being conferred observer status in 2007, India was the first member to enter the League although it does not have an Arab community, neither does it have an indegenous Arabic speaking population. Trade between India and Arab League members was valued at US$ 30 billion in 2007. India's major exports to Arab League countries are chemicals, automobiles, machinery, foodstuff and other fast moving products, while it is a large importer of Arab oil and gas. India also has a large diaspora in the Arab League countries of about 5 million, of which some 20% are professionals.

India has strong military ties with several Arab League members, namely Oman, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar. Oman and India enjoy particularly good relations, an example being; both countries exchange ship visits on a regular basis. Recently, Oman has granted India berthing rights for Indian naval ships. The Indian navy has also been training Omani naval forces for many years.

Some Arab League members, namely the UAE have also voiced their support pertaining to deploying Indian troops in Iraq, although New Delhi has not decided on this matter. Some Arab League members have also voiced its support for India to be conferred a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. however, strong Indian relations with Israel in recent years have aroused the sentiments of some Arab League members owing to India's increasingly ambiguous stance on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. On one hand, Indian ministers continue to express sympathies with the Palestinians, while on the other, India has committed itself to a 'strategic' alliance with Israel & within less than five years of establishing full diplomatic relations, Israel has already become India's second-largest arms & defense equipment supplier after Russia. As far as the Jammu & Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan is concerned, past resolutions by OIC, which is represented by all Arab League members have supported Pakistan's position on Kashmir, although the Arab League itself has refrained from commenting on the Kashmir issue by dismissing it as an issue not on the League's agenda.

Iranian-Arab relations have always been very mixed. Within the Middle East historical conflicts have always colored neighbouring Arab countries' perceptions about Iran. At times peacefully coexisting, while at other times in bitter conflict. North African Arabs from the have for the larger part enjoyed closer relations with Iran due to limited historical connection between them and Iran.

Only three Arab States recognize Israel: Egypt, Mauritania and Jordan, though it should be noted that these relations are not normal and contain inherent problems. Relations with Israel have deteriorated following the second intifada and Israel's brutal wars of aggression against Lebanon (2006) and Palestine (Gaza 2008/09).

Pakistan has enjoyed close and strong historical relationship with the Middle-Eastern region, particularly Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Syria, Jordan, Yemen and Lebanon. Today there are over One million Pakistanis living and working in Saudi Arabia alone, with a similar number in other Persian Gulf region countries that constitute the Arab League. These ties were put to the test when a massive earth-quake hit Pakistan's Northern Areas in 2005 with Saudi Arabia & UAE promptly dispatching critical aid, not only in terms of medicine & essential supplies but massive injunction of billions of dollars for the reconstruction of the region. Pakistan also enjoys extensive cultural & defense/military ties with most of the Arab League member states. Pakistan also has extensive trade ties with Arab League states, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE with Saudi Arabia ranking as Pakistan's second largest trading partner after the United States. With such close association to the Arab League, Pakistan was also invited by Russian President, Vladimir Putin in 2006 to the First Session of the Russia-Islamic World Strategic Vision Group in 2006 in a bid to strengthen Moscow's ties with the big players in the Muslim world.

Army, Naval and Air Force cadets from many of the Arab League countries routinely enroll in training courses in Pakistan's well-recognized military academies while Pakistan Air Force pilots have flown Egyptian, Jordanian, Syrian and Saudi fighter gets both in war (1967 & 1973 against Israel) & peacetime as part of their 'foreign deployments'. Units from the Pakistan Army, Navy and Air Force also serve allotted time periods in their respective fields in Saudi Arabia and UAE as instructors, maintenance crews, etc while there are strong indications that a company of Elite Pakistani Commandos, the SSG maintains a permanent unit in Saudi Arabia to safeguard Islam's holiest sites as well as the Saudi Royal Family.

In 2007 Pakistani President, Pervez Musharraf attended the Arab League summit held in Riyadh even though Pakistan had not yet gained 'Observer Member' status. Pakistan is currently in the stages of finalizing a Free Trade Agreement with the GCC countries, many of whom are also part of the Arab League while talks continue to grant Pakistan the 'Observer' status in the coming months. The country also has a long history of being an ardent supporter of several Arab causes, including Palestine, Iraq, Somalian crisis, etc.

China's economic boom has led to the oil addiction it was suffering to boom with it. Chinese-Arab relations in the past few years have increased fast with several Arab-Chinese business forums, conferences and meetings to increase trade and Cooperation. China is Sudan's second biggest invester, after Arab States. Sudan's oil that seems to be large, is being sent to China. Some of China's first foreign relations were made with Arab States such as Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq and Syria.

In 2008 the Arab League and People's republic of China, following a Visit by the Arab League secretary general, have agreed to create an Annual forum between the two of them, on an Economical, Environmental and Political levels, with the Ministers of these section of China, and the Representative of the Ministerial Arab Councils, by 2009, the forum is expected to expand to include Nuclear projects.

Arab Russian relations goes far since the Khazars and their wars with the Arab Empire, but has flourished most under the soviet Union, with the USSR's support for several Arab regimes against the Capitalist America during the cold war, regims like Nasser's and the Baathist regims of Syria and Iraq, as well as other regims in Libya, and Yemen. But after the end of the cold war, and the emerging of Russia, new ties have been made. Russia with its strong diplomatic relations with Arab States from the Soviet Era, is trying to regain its strength by supporting their causes, especially in the Security Council.

Turkey has expressed desires for an observer status in the League, and has been refused for several political reasons, one of the reasons for refusals came from Iraq and Syria due to the Turkish Water Projects on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, especially the Atatürk Dam, also the self-annexation of the Hatay State to Turkey in 1939 was never recognized by Syria, which continues to show the Hatay Province of Turkey as part of Syria's territory in its maps. another reason for the refusal was the Turkish recognition of the State of Israel.

Today, Turkey has a better Relations with Arab Countries, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Tunisia, it is also the main Broker in the Israeli-Syrian Peace process, on the other hand, A primary concern for Turkey was an independent Kurdish state arising from a destabilised Iraq; it has previously fought an insurgent war on its own soil, in which an estimated 37,000 people lost their lives, against the PKK (listed as a terrorist organization by a number of states and organisations, including the U.S. and the EU).

The United States’ relationship with the Arab World prior to the Second World War was limited. Moreover, in comparison to European powers such as Britain and France which had managed to colonise almost all of the Arab World after defeating the Ottoman Empire in 1918, the United States was popular and respected throughout the Arab World. Indeed, Americans were seen as good people, untainted by the selfishness and duplicity associated with the Europeans. American missionaries had brought modern medicine and set up educational institutions all over the Arab World. Moreover, the US had provided the Arab World with highly skilled petroleum engineers. Thus, there were some connections, which were made between the United States and the Arab World before the Second World War. Other examples of corporations between the US and the Arab World are the Red Line Agreement signed in 1928 and the Anglo-American Petroleum Agreement signed in 1944. Both of these agreements were legally binding and reflected an American interest in control of Arab and Middle Eastern energy resources, namely oil, and moreover reflected an American security imperative to prevent the (re)emergence of a powerful regional rival. The Red Line Agreement had been part of a network of agreements made in the 1920s to restrict supply of petroleum and ensure that the major companies…could control oil prices on world markets. The Red Line agreement governed the development of Arab oil for the next two decades. The Anglo-American Petroleum Agreement of 1944 was based on negotiations between the United States and Britain over the control of Arab and Middle Eastern oil.

Arab League relations with Uzbekistan have been almost inexistent until 2007. Then the Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa and the Uzbek president Islam Karimov have met to carry on discussions held previously in Cairo, for more Arab cooperation with Central Asia and more Central Asian support for Arab causes, such as Iraq, Sudan and Palestine.

Arab-Latin American relations don't go so far, they are very new, the AL secretary general Amr Moussa has stated that it was time for the Arab League and Latin America to seek strong relations, there are over 20 million Arabs living in Latin America with Brazil leading with over half of that number, so it wasn't a surprise that Brazilian President Lula offered his support for these relations with open arms.

The Arab-Latin American relations are concentrated mainly on Energy and Trade, strengthening ties between the two regions. In may 2005, the first Arab-Latin American summit was held, with 34 countries attending the summit that was held in Brazil. they gathered to discuss trade, and energy. Arab and Latin American economies are complementary. Latin America has developed high-tech skills and industries that will find ready markets in the Arab world as will its agricultural production. But Latin America is also energy-hungry and a ready market for Arab oil and downstream petrochemicals. They also have other common interests, not just a desire to see the elimination of the subsidies that allow European and American farmers to destroy the livelihoods of their counterparts elsewhere in the world. In an increasingly global economy, both want to avoid domination by the multinationals.

Venezuela is the only Observer member in the new world, it has a large Arab population from Lebanon and Palestine, and has supported the Palestinian Cause, and is one of only two Latin American countries to cut off ties with Israel.

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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 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.

The League was weakened over the years by internal dissensions on political issues, especially those concerning Israel and the Palestinians and later on by the three Gulf wars. After Egypt signed a separate peace treaty with Israel on March 26, 1979, other Arab League members met in Baghdad and voted to suspend Egypt's membership and transfer the League's headquarters from Cairo to Tunis. In May 1988, nine years later, Egypt was readmitted and resumed membership. The headquarters was returned to Cairo in 1990. This step was sharply disputed as members of the League were deeply divided over the Kuwait crisis and the invitation extended by Saudi Arabia to the United States, which allowed foreign military build-up in its Eastern province. The League was effectively paralyzed by the eruption of the Gulf crisis, and its future as a regional organization became highly uncertain.

Until the Israeli-Lebanese summer war in 2006, the League had started making positive moves and is starting to regain respect with the Arab public and media.

The British needed Arab cooperation once more during World War II, and again returned to play the Pan Arabism card by encouraging the formation of the League. Many Arab intellectuals believe that the British did not want the League to act as a step towards Arab unity, but actually used the League to prevent it.

Several suggestions were made for the name of the organization: Iraq suggested Arab Union; Syria suggested Arab Alliance; and Egypt proposed the Arab League. Egypt's proposal was adopted, and later amended to the League of Arab States.

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Source : Wikipedia