Algeria Hosts Arab League Summit

Written by William Lucht

November 7, 2022

The first Arab League summit to be held in two years since the Covid-19 pandemic is being hosted by Algeria. Algeria seems to be positioning itself back into international and regional politics since its eclipse in the wake of Bouteflika’s illness, the protest movement, COVID-19, and the financial crisis. The summit is not off to the best of starts though. Wedge issues exist which concern allegiances to Palestine and Israel, territorial claims made in North Africa, and regional problems which persist in the wake of the Arab Spring. 

Three members have already stated they will not be in attendance. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the United Arab Emirates leader Mohammed bin Zayed have both confirmed they are not coming to Algiers, as has Morocco’s King Mohammed VI. Those who are expected to attend, the Presidents of Egypt, Tunisia, and the Monarchs of Kuwait and Qatar, which makes up two-thirds of the Summit.

Domestic Algerian audiences are already criticizing the summit, stating its’s decadence could be money spent on national issues. Along with this criticism, is that the summit will produce little progress. Algeria in a past summit failed in persuading the Arab league nations suspension of Syria.

Ties with Israel have continued to push states into camps which now percolate under the surface representing deeper grievances which will create challenges at the upcoming summit. The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan have normalized ties with Israel, and this has been seen by some as a betrayal of Palestinians. Arab states remain splintered after the Arab Spring, as continued conflicts in Syria, Yemen, and Libya leak into other regions touching states like Turkey and Iran.

Algeria also must contend with its neighbor Morocco in the upcoming summit as the two have become increasingly divergent from one another. Algeria’s grievance concerns Morocco’s deal with the US to build closer ties to Israel in return for US support of Morocco’s claim on Western Saharan territory. In contrast, Algeria supports the Polisario group currently fighting against Moroccan claims on its sovereignty.

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