"It has been agreed that the Arab League and Chad will sign a
memorandum of understanding as soon as possible," said Arab League Secretary-General Amr Musa on Thursday.

The signing will herald the "granting to Chad of an observer
status at the Arab League", added Musa at a news conference in Cairo with Chadian Foreign Minister Nagoum Yamassoum.

Neither Musa nor Yamassoum said if Chad eventually wanted to become a fully fledged member of the league.

Arabic is widely used in the central African country, and nearly half of its population of about 10 million are Muslims. 

Chad, more than three times the size of California, shares
borders with six African countries. Two of them - Libya and Sudan - are Arab League members.