Arab League

Member states of the Arab League

Member States of the Arab League

The Arab League is an alliance of states with currently 22 member states in Northern Africa and on the Arabian Peninsula, which geographically belongs to Asia.

All member countries together cover an area of 13.15 million km² (8.7% of the world's inhabitable area). Significant parts are desert regions such as the Sahara and the Rub al-Chali sand desert. With about 427.87 million inhabitants, the area is home to about 5.6% of the world population.
AlgeriaNorthern Africa2,382,000 km²43.05 M
BahrainWestern Asia778 km²1.64 M
ComorosEastern Africa1,861 km²0.85 M
DjiboutiEastern Africa23,000 km²0.97 M
EgyptNorthern Africa1,001,000 km²100.39 M
IraqWestern Asia435,000 km²39.31 M
JordanWestern Asia89,000 km²10.10 M
KuwaitWestern Asia18,000 km²4.21 M
LebanonWestern Asia10,000 km²6.86 M
LibyaNorthern Africa1,760,000 km²6.78 M
MauritaniaWestern Africa1,031,000 km²4.53 M
MoroccoNorthern Africa447,000 km²36.47 M
OmanWestern Asia310,000 km²4.97 M
PalestineWestern Asia6,020 km²4.69 M
QatarWestern Asia12,000 km²2.83 M
Saudi ArabiaWestern Asia2,150,000 km²34.27 M
SomaliaEastern Africa638,000 km²15.44 M
SudanNorthern Africa1,879,000 km²42.81 M
SyriaWestern Asia185,000 km²17.07 M
TunisiaNorthern Africa164,000 km²11.69 M
United Arab EmiratesWestern Asia84,000 km²9.77 M
YemenWestern Asia528,000 km²29.16 M

Foundation and aims of the Arab League

The origins of the Arab League go back to the time of the Second World War. Large parts of the founding members were part of the Ottoman Empire. The aims of the Arab League were very similar to those of NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Its primary tasks were to strengthen the region in political, economic, cultural and social terms. At the end of the war, the region was to be stabilised and its independence secured. Egypt was the driving force and thus played a decisive role in its foundation.

On October 7, 1944, a "Protocol of Alexandria" was signed, which the later League signed as a loose union. After elaborating the more detailed ideas, the Arab League was founded the following year on 11 May 1945. The first member states were the kingdoms of Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, as well as Lebanon, Syria and the then Emirate of Transjordan.

The history of the Arab League since then has been marked by numerous political and military conflicts in the region. In the immediate post-war period, the growing Jewish population in Palestine played a major role. This led to the division of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state in 1949. With the withdrawal of the British Allies, there was also a lack of an overarching protective power and serious and recurrent conflicts with Israel arose. In the 1980s, the Islamic Revolution led to further military conflicts with Iran and Iraq, which ultimately led to the first Gulf War.


The chairmanship is elected every 5 years, but the seat of the Arab League has been in Cairo (Egypt) since the beginning. Other sub-organizations are: All member states are also members of the OIC, the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation.