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Timeline: Arab League

A chronology of key events:

1942 - British begin promoting idea of Arab League in an attempt win over Arabs as allies in war against Germany.

Arab League foreign ministers meeting in Cairo
Arab League HQ in Cairo: Egypt is one of the grouping's key players

1944 - Official representatives from Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, North Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Transjordan (Jordan) and Arab community in British Mandate Palestine meet in Alexandria, Egypt, and agree to form the League of Arab States.

1945 - Arab states sign Arab League Pact, thereby formally inaugurating the league.

1946 - Arab League members sign Cultural Treaty.

1950 - League members sign Joint Defence and Economic Cooperation Treaty.

1953 - Economic and Social Council formed; Libya joins the Arab League.

1956 - Sudan joins the Arab League.

1958 - Morocco and Tunisia join the Arab League; the League is recognised by the United Nations, and becomes the UN's organisation for education, science and culture in the Arab region.

1961 - Kuwait joins the Arab League.

1962 - Algeria joins the Arab League.

First summits

1964 - The first summit is convened in Cairo in January; the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALESCO) is set up; second league summit in September welcomes the establishment of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).

1967 - South Yemen joins the Arab League.

1971 - Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates join the Arab League.

1973 - Mauritania joins the Arab League.

1974 - Somalia and Palestine (represented by the PLO ) join the Arab League.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas at Arab League summit
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (r): League considers Palestine to be an independent state

1976 - Arab League summit in Cairo authorises the formation and deployment of an Arab peacekeeping force in Lebanon.

1977 - Djibouti joins the Arab League.

1979 - Egypt is suspended from the Arab League in the wake of President Anwar Sadat's visit to Jerusalem and Egypt's peace agreement with Israel; the Arab League headquarters are moved to the Tunisian capital, Tunis.

1987 - Arab League extraordinary summit endorses a statement supporting what it described as Iraq's defence of its legitimate rights in its dispute with Iran and criticising Iran for its delay in accepting a UN-proposed ceasefire.

1989 - Egypt is readmitted into the Arab League; the league's headquarters are moved back to Cairo.

1990 May - Summit meeting in Baghdad criticises Western efforts to prevent Iraq from developing advanced weapons technology.

Kuwait invasion

1990 August - At emergency summit, 12 out of 20 states present condemn the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait; unified Yemen joins the Arab League.

1993 - Comoros joins the Arab League.

1994 - Arab League condemns decision by the Gulf Cooperation Council to end the secondary and tertiary trade embargo against Israel and insists that the embargo can be lifted only by the league's council.

1996 - Arab League Council rules that waters of Euphrates and Tigris rivers be shared between Iraq, Syria and Turkey. This followed complaints by Syria and Iraq that construction work in Turkey was restricting supplies.

Former Secretary-General Ismat Abdel Meguid
Ismat Abdel Meguid, an Egyptian, served two terms as league's head

1998 - Arab League head condemns use or threat of force against Iraq; league denounces bomb attacks against US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and US missile strikes against Afghanistan and Sudan.

2001 - Amr Moussa appointed secretary-general, replacing Ismat Abdel Meguid.

2002 March - Beirut summit endorses Saudi initiative offering Israel normal relations with Arab world in return for a pullback to its 1967 borders.

Iraq war

2003 March/April - US-led overthrow of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein: Some league members, including Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain offer facilities for the invasion. Others, including Syria, strongly oppose it.

2004 August - Emergency talks in Cairo to discuss the crisis in Sudan's Darfur region: League is unwilling to accept sanctions or international military intervention.

2004 September - League's head Amr Moussa says "the gates of hell are open in Iraq" as the body meets in Cairo.

2005 January - Free trade zone between 17 Arab League countries comes into force.

2005 March - Algiers summit decides to re-launch 2002 initiative offering Israel normal relations in return for a pullback to its 1967 borders.

2008 July - Arab League ministers condemn International Criminal Court (ICC) for seeking arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for charges of war crimes and genocide in Darfur.

2008 September - Arab League chief Amr Moussa says Arab governments considering sanctions against rowing Palestinian political factions Fatah and Hamas if they are seen to obstruct reconciliation efforts by the League.

2009 March - Arab League ends annual summit with show of support for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

2010 June - Arab League head Amr Moussa visits Gaza as the first senior Arab official to do so since the Islamist militant group Hamas took over in 2007.

2011 January - Amr Moussa warns region's leaders to heed the problems that sparked Tunisia's political upheaval, saying they are common to all Arab states.

2011 February - Arab League bars Libya from meetings after hundreds are killed during an anti-government uprising.

2011 March - Arab League backs UN resolution authorising attacks on Libyan air defences.

2011 May - Arab League elects Egyptian diplomat Nabil Al-Arabi to succeed Amr Moussa as secretary-general.

Arab League supports Palestinian bid to become a "fully-fledged state" and UN member.

2011 August - Arab League issues first condemnation of Syrian government repression of nationwide uprisings, calling for an immediate end to the violence.

2011 November - Arab League suspends Syria for failing to stick to a deal that included halting military action and starting talks with the opposition.



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