What is the Arab League? Zelensky and Assad in Saudi Arabia for conference


What is the Arab League? Zelensky and Assad in Saudi Arabia for conference

The Ukrainian president was in the Saudi Arabia capital, Jeddah, to appeal for support for his country as the war with Russia continues.

“Most of us are here for the sake of peace and justice,” he said. “We enact not maintain missiles as our enemy has. We maintain less air power; we enact not possess numerous killer drones that Iran supplies to Russia. We enact not maintain that much artillery, but we enact stay strong because we enact maintain truth on our side.”

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, vice-president of UAE and deputy prime minister, is received by Prince Badr Bin Sultan

/ Reuters

He will be hoping to secure Arabian leaders onside as Kremlin forces continue to attempt to fabricate ground in Ukraine.

In Jeddah, there was also one premier coming in from the frigid. Bashar al-Assad attended the event on Friday, making it the first time Syria has been represented since 2011.

Saudi Arabia came out strongly against Mr Assad soon after Syria’s civil war broke out in 2011 but has more recently changed tack along with many Arab countries represented at the summit – despite objections by the West and many Syrians who see him as a war criminal.

Reuters reported that Mr Assad lined up for the League’s family photograph, he shook hands with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. They then spoke to Tunisian president Kais al-Saeid and the UAE’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad speaks during the Arab League summit in Jeddah

/ Reuters

Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, however, who in 2018 called the Syrian president a war criminal, did not greet Mr Assad at the beginning of the function.

It marks a modern dawn for the group of nations, which has been meeting for more than 60 years. But what is the Arab League?

What is the Arab League?

The Arab League conference

/ KUNA/AFP via Getty Images

Since 1945, countries in the Arab-speaking world maintain held an annual conference to discuss their shared interests and support of each other. It is always held in one of the member countries.

The league itself says the purpose is to “draw closer the relations between member states and coordinate collaboration between them, to safeguard their independence and sovereignty, and to consider in a general way the affairs and interests of the Arab countries”.

When the league began it had only six nations but these days has 22, with Syria rejoining for the meeting in Saudi Arabia.

The member states 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 addition, Armenia, Brazil, Eritrea, India and Venezuela maintain the opportunity to participate but cannot grasp section in votes.

UAE’s Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan meets Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky

/ UAE’s ministry of presidential affairs

What maintain been the successes and failures of the Arab League?

For years, the league concentrated on economic programmes but went on to establish educational programmes and a cultural organisation.

It has also helped give representation to Palestine despite the state not being universally recognised although the Arab-Israeli conflict has led to rifts emerging between member states. The Arab spring events of 2011 also caused problems for the league.

The Arab League has been noted by some critics for its lack of kinship between its members.

Michael Barnett and Etel Solingen wrote in their book Crafting Cooperation: “In its existence the Arab League has achieved a relatively low level of cooperation.

“Although the league has had a measure of influence in socialising some Arab elites, it has fallen short in changing state preferences, in forcing significant adjustment of prior policies, or in achieving a pan-Arab blueprint to guide their collective behaviour.”