The Arab League: Fact sheet

The Arab League was formed in 1945 and now has 22 member states. Below is a brief profile of each country.

    The Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Egypt

    Algeria

     

    Capital: Algiers
    Type of government: Republic
    Full name: Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria

    Joined league
    in 1962

    President: Abd al-Aziz Butaflika
    Independence: 5 July 1962 (from France)
    Political parties: Established a
    multi-party system in September 1989.
    Elections: National People's Assembly: first round held on 26 December 1991 (second round cancelled by the military  after President Shadli Benjedid resigned on 11 January 1992); following the victory of the Islamic Salvation Front.
    Literacy rate (as percentage of the population): male: 78.8%, female: 61% (2003 estimate).  

    Joined league
    in 1971

    Bahrain

    Capital: Manama
    Type of government: Constitutional monarchy since 2002
    Full name: Kingdom of Bahrain
    Monarch: King Shaikh Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa
    Independence: 15 August 1971 (from UK)
    Political parties: None
    Elections: 40-member elected parliament, known as the Council of Deputies.
    Literacy rate: male: 91.9%, female: 61% (2003 est).

    Joined league
    in 1993

    Comoros

    Capital: Moroni
    Type of government: Independent republic
    Full name: Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros
    President: Azali Assumani
    Independence: 31 December 1975 (from France)
    Elections: Federal Assembly
    Literacy rate: male: 63.6% female, 49.3% (2003 est).

    Joined league
    in 1977

    Djibouti

    Capital: Djibouti
    Type of government: Republic
    Full name: Republic of Djibouti
    President: Ismail Umar Gallah
    Independence: 27 June 1977 (from France; formerly French Territory of the Afars and Issas)
    Political parties: One-party state
    Elections: National Assembly
    Literacy rate: male: 51%, female: 21% (1999 est).

    Joined league
    in 1945

    Egypt

    Capital: Cairo
    Type of government: Republic
    Full name: Arab Republic of Egypt
    President: Muhammad Husni Mubarak
    Independence: 28 February 1922 (from UK); formerly United Arab Republic.
    Political parties: A multi-party system. Formation of political parties must be approved by the government.
    Elections: Advisory Council and Peoples Assembly. Presidential elections every five years.
    Literacy rate: male: 68.3%, female: 46.9% (2003 est).

    Joined league
    in 1945

    Iraq

    Capital: Baghdad
    Type of government: Republic
    Full name: Republic of Iraq
    President: None, following the US-led occupation of the country and the toppling of president Saddam Hussein.
    Independence: Under occupation.
    Political parties: Many political parties emerged in Iraq following the fall of Iraq's Baath party in 2003.
    Elections: None
    Literacy rate: male: 55.9%, female: 24.4% (2003 est).

    Joined league
    in 1945

    Jordan

    Capital: Amman
    Type of government: Kingdom
    Full name: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
    Monarch: King Abd Allah bin Al Husain (since 1999)
    Independence: 25 May 1946
    Political parties: Multi-party state
    Elections: National Assembly, consists of the Senate, also called the House of Notables (40 seats; members appointed by the monarch from designated categories of public figures),
    and the House of Representatives (110 seats; members elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms).
    Literacy rate: male: 95.9%, female: 86.3% (2003 est).

    Joined league
    in 1961

    Kuwait

    Capital: Kuwait
    Type of government: Nominal constitutional monarchy
    Full name: State of Kuwait
    Amir: Shaikh Jabir al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah
    Independence: 19 June 1961 (from UK)
    Political parties: None
    Elections: National Assembly (parliament) since 1963
    Literacy rate: male: 85.1%, female: 81.7% (2003 est).

    Joined league
    in 1945

    Lebanon

    Capital: Beirut
    Type of government: Republic
    Full name: Republic of Lebanon
    President: General Emile Lahud
    Independence: 22 November 1943
    Political parties: Multi-party system organised along largely sectarian lines.
    Elections: Assembly of Representatives
    Literacy rate: male: 93.1%, female: 82.2% (2003 est).

    Joined league
    in 1953

    Libya

    Capital: Tripoli
    Type of government: Jamahiriya (a state of the masses)
    Full name: Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
    President: Muammar al-Qadhafi
    Independence: 24 December 1951 (from Italy)
    Political parties: None
    Elections: General Peoples Congress. Elections are indirect through a hierarchy of peoples' committees.
    Literacy rate: male: 92.4%, female: 72% (2003 est).

    Joined league
    in 1973

    Mauritania

    Capital: Nouakchott
    Type of government: Republic
    Full name: Islamic Republic of Mauritania
    President: Muawiya Wald Sid Ahmad Taya
    Independence: 28 November 1960
    Political parties: Multi-party system
    Elections: Parliament, National Assembly and Senate
    Literacy rate: male: 51.8%, female: 31.9% (2003 est).

    Joined league
    in 1958

    Morocco

    Capital: Rabat
    Type of government: Constitutional monarchy Full name: Kingdom of Morocco
    Monarch: King Muhammad VI
    Independence: 2 March 1956 (from France)
    Political parties: Multi-party system
    Elections: Chamber of Representatives and Assembly of Councillors.
    Literacy rate: male: 64.1%, female: 39.4% (2003 est).

    Joined league
    in 1971

    Oman

    Capital: Muscat
    Type of government: monarchy
    Full name: Sultanate of Oman
    Monarch: Sultan Qabus bin al-Said
    Independence: Since 1861
    Political parties: None
    Elections: Consultative Assembly & Council of State
    Literacy rate: male: 83.1%, female: 67.2% (2003 est).

    Joined league
    in 1945

    Palestine

    Capital: Jerusalem
    Type of government: Republic
    Full name: State of Palestine
    President: Yasir Arafat
    Independence: Still under Israeli occupation
    Political parties: Multi-party system
    Elections: Elected Palestinian Authority
    Literacy rate: male: 78.8%, female: 61% (2003 est).

    Joined league
    in 1971

    Qatar

    Capital: Doha
    Type of government: Traditional monarchy
    Full name: State of Qatar
    Amir: Shaikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
    Independence: 3 September 1971 (from UK)
    Political parties: None
    Elections: Elected municipal council
    Literacy rate: male: 81.4%, female: 85% (2003 est).

    Joined league
    in 1945

    Saudi Arabia

    Capital: Riyadh
    Type of government: Monarchy
    Full name: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
    Monarch: King Fahd bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud
    Independence: 23 September 1932 (Unification of the Kingdom)
    Political parties: None
    Elections: None
    Literacy rate: male: 84.7%, female: 70.8% (2003 est).

    Joined league
    in 1974

    Somalia

    Capital: Mogadishu
    Type of government: None
    Full name: None
    President: Abd al-Qasim Salat Hasan
    Independence: 1 July 1960
    Political parties: Transitional government
    Elections: Provisional parliament with appointed members
    Literacy rate: male: 49.7%, female: 25.8% (2001 est).

    Joined league
    in 1956

    Sudan

    Capital: Khartoum
    Type of government: Republic
    Full name: Republic of the Sudan
    President: Umar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir
    Independence: 1 January 1956 (from Egypt and UK; formerly Anglo-Egyptian Sudan)
    Political parties: The government allows political "associations" under a 1998 law revised in 2000
    Elections: None
    Literacy rate: male: 71.8%, female: 50.5% (2003 est).

    Joined league
    in 1945

    Syria
     
    Capital: Damascus
    Type of government: Republic; under leftwing military regime since March 1963
    Full name: Syrian Arab Republic
    President: Bashar al-Asad
    Independence: 17 April 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration); formerly United Arab Republic
    Political parties: The ruling party is the Arab Socialist (Baath) party.
    Elections: Elected National Assembly
    Literacy rate: male: 89.7%, female: 64% (2003 est).

    Joined league
    in 1958

    Tunisia
     
    Capital: Tunis
    Type of government: Republic
    Full name: Republic of Tunisia
    President: Zain al-Abidin Bin Ali
    Independence: 20 March 1956 (from France)
    Political parties: Multi-party system
    Elections: Elected Chamber of Deputies
    Literacy rate: male: 84%, female: 64.4% (2003 est).

    Joined league
    in 1971

    United Arab Emirates (UAE)

    Capital: Abu Dhabi
    Type of government: Federation with specified powers delegated to the UAE central government and other powers reserved to member emirates.
    Full name: United Arab Emirates; abbreviated UAE
    President: Shaikh Zaid bin Sultan Al Nuhayyan
    Independence: 2 December 1971 (from UK)
    Political parties: None
    Elections: None
    Literacy rate: male: 76.1%, female: 81.7% (2003 est).

    Joined league
    in 1945

    Yemen

    Capital: Sanaa
    Type of government: Republic
    Full name: Republic of Yemen
    President: Ali Abd Allah Salih
    Independence: Republic of Yemen was established on 22 May 1990 following the merger of the Yemen Arab Republic (known as North Yemen) and the Marxist-dominated People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (known as South Yemen).
    Political parties: Multi-party system
    Elections: Elected Assembly of Representatives
    Joined as a charter member in 1945
    Literacy rate: male: 70.5%, female: 30% (2003 est).

    Sources: Various

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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