DEFINITION of 'Arab League'

A union of Arab-speaking African and Asian countries formed in Cairo in 1945 to promote the independence, sovereignty, affairs and interests of its 22 member countries and four observers. The 22 members of the Arab League as of 2010 were Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The four observers are Brazil, Eritrea, India and Venezuela.

BREAKING DOWN 'Arab League'

The Arab League countries have widely varying levels of population, wealth, GDP and literacy, they are all predominantly Muslim, Arabic-speaking countries. Through agreements for joint defense, economic cooperation and free trade, among others, the league helps its member countries to coordinate government and cultural programs to facilitate cooperation and limit conflict.

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