Member states of the Arab League

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The Arab League has 22 member states.

The Arab League was founded in Cairo in 1945 by Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Transjordan (Jordan from 1946) and Yemen (North Yemen, later combined Yemen). There was a continual increase in membership during the second half of the 20th century, with additional 15 Arab states and 4 observers being admitted.

Chad is not a member despite Arabic being one of its two official languages, some 12% of Chadians identifying as Arab[1] and around 900,000 are Arabic-speaking.[2] It applied for membership in March 2014.

Israel is not a member despite 20% of its population being Palestinian Arab, nearly half the Jewish population being descended from Jews from Arab countries and Arabic being an official language.

The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic is not a member of the Arab League as it is recognized by only some Arab League states, while Western Sahara is recognized by the League as part of Morocco,[citation needed] which controls nearly 80% of the territory.

South Sudan seceded from member state Sudan in July 2011.

Temporary suspensions[edit]

Egypt's membership was suspended in 1979 after it signed the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty and the League's headquarters were moved from Cairo to Tunis. In 1987, Arab League states restored diplomatic relations with Egypt, the country was readmitted to the League in 1989 and the League's headquarters were moved back to Cairo.[3]

Libya was suspended from the Arab League on 22 February 2011.[4] On 27 August 2011, the Arab League voted to restore Libya's membership by accrediting a representative of the National Transitional Council, which was partially recognised as the interim government of the country in the wake of Gaddafi's ouster from the capital of Tripoli.[5]

On 12 November 2011, the League passed a decree that would suspend Syria's membership if the government failed to stop violence against civilian protestors by 16 November amidst the uprising.[6] Despite this, the government did not yield to the League's demands.

Observer states[edit]

Four countries are observer states—a status that entitles them to express their opinion and give advice but denies them voting rights.[7] These are Eritrea, where Arabic is one of the official languages, as well as Brazil and Venezuela, which have large and influential Arab communities.[8] India is another observer to the Arab League.[7]

List of member states[edit]

Admission date
Area (km²)
Population (2010)[9]
Official languages
 Algeria 1962-08-16 Algiers 2,381,741 34,586,184 Arabic, Tamazight
 Bahrain 1971-09-11 Manama 750 738,004 Arabic
 Comoros 1993-11-20 Moroni 2,235 773,407 Comorian, Arabic, French
 Djibouti 1977-09-04 Djibouti 23,200 740,528 Arabic, French
 Egypt 1945-03-22 Cairo 1,002,450 80,471,869 Arabic
 Iraq 1945-03-22 Baghdad 438,317 29,671,605 Arabic, Kurdish
 Jordan 1945-03-22 Amman 92,300 6,407,085 Arabic
 Kuwait 1961-07-20 Kuwait City 18,717 2,789,132 Arabic
 Lebanon 1945-03-22 Beirut 10,452 4,125,247 Arabic, French
 Libya 1953-03-28 Tripoli 1,759,541 6,461,454 Arabic
 Mauritania 1973-11-26 Nouakchott 1,030,700 3,205,060 Arabic
 Morocco 1958-10-01 Rabat 446,550 31,627,428 Arabic, Tamazight
 Oman 1971-09-29 Muscat 309,550 2,967,717 Arabic
 State of Palestine[10] 1976-09-09[11] Jerusalem (proclaimed)
Ramallah (de facto)
6,040 4,260,636 Arabic
 Qatar 1971-09-11 Doha 11,437 840,926 Arabic
 Saudi Arabia 1945-03-22 Riyadh 2,149,690 25,731,776 Arabic
 Somalia 1974-02-14 Mogadishu 637,661 10,112,453 Somali, Arabic
 Sudan 1956-01-19 Khartoum 1,886,068 30,894,000 Arabic, English
 Syria  a b 1945-03-22 Damascus 185,180 22,198,110 Arabic
 Tunisia 1958-10-01 Tunis 163,610 10,589,025 Arabic
 United Arab Emirates 1971-12-06 Abu Dhabi 83,600 4,975,593 Arabic
 Yemen 1945-05-05 Sana'a 527,968 23,495,361 Arabic
a. Seat currently occupied by the Syrian National Coalition[12]

b. Suspended as of 16 November 2011[13][14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The World Factbook". Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  2. ^ "Chad". Ethnologue. 1999-02-19. Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  3. ^ "Timeline: Arab League". BBC News. 17 September 2008. Retrieved 30 November 2009. 
  4. ^ "Libya suspended from Arab League sessions - Israel News, Ynetnews". 1995-06-20. Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  5. ^ "Arab League Recognizes Libyan Rebel Council". RTT News. 25 August 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "Arab League Votes to Suspend Syria Over Crackdown". 12 November 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "India invited as observer for Arab League summit". Press Trust of India. 27 March 2007. Retrieved 13 June 2007. 
  8. ^ David Noack: Syriens Beziehungen zu Lateinamerika, in:, 11.01.2011. (German)
  9. ^ "Country Comparison: Population". Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  10. ^ Arab League membership
  11. ^ The State of Palestine succeeded the seat of the Palestine Liberation Organization following the 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence.
  12. ^ "Syrian president slams Arab League for granting seat to opposition". Xinhua News Agency. 2013-04-06. Retrieved 2013-04-12. 
  13. ^ "Arab League suspends Syria". CNN. 12 November 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2011.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  14. ^ "Presentation of the Arab League". [1]. 2012-09-13. Retrieved 2013-04-15.  External link in |publisher= (help)