Arab Summits (main)

BEYROUTH, March 2002

22 delegations of Arab countries attended this Summit. King Abdullah of Jordan, the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak and the President of Palestinian National Authority, Yasser Arafat were absent. The UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, and the EU High Representative, Javier Solana, had been invited.

The Arab leaders adopted the Saudi peace initiative, which consisted in proposing to Israel the complete normalisation of relations in exchange for its withdrawal from the territories occupied since 1967, the acceptance of a Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital as well as the return of the Palestinian refugees.

Regarding Iraq, the Arab representatives welcomed the Iraqi confirmation of its respect for Kuwaiti “independence, sovereignty and security”. Opposing the use of force against Iraq, the Arab countries reaffirmed the calls for lifting the UN sanctions, and for the Iraqi respect of UN Resolutions.

The Arab leaders also demanded the lifting of sanctions imposed on Libya as well as its right to be compensated for the years of the air embargo.
In their final declaration, the Arab countries showed satisfaction for the progress made in the implementation of an Arab Free Zone.

AMMAN, March 2001

The 2-day summit was aimed at showing support for the Palestinian Intifada, narrowing the differences between Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and boosting unity among Arab states. On the palestinian question, the 22 Arab states represented at this meeting pledged $240 million in emergency aid over the following six months (mainly from Saudi pockets) and contemplated reviving the Arab economic boycott of Israel.
With regards to Iraq, little was achieved: Kuwait and Saudi Arabia remained opposed to an Arab common position on the lifting of sanctions by the UN, arguing that Iraq is still a threat to their security.

On the other hand, this Summit was host to a fringe meeting between Palestinian president Yasser Arafat and Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, marking an end to years of difficult relations between Syria and Yasser Arafat.

The leaders decided to organise a summit each year in March and to give the project of an Arab Free Trade Area a boost.

CAIRO, October 2000

This summit was convened to develop a common attitude to the burst of violence in the Palestinian territories triggered by the visit of Ariel Sharon to the sanctuary called Temple Mount by the Jews and Haram As-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary) by the Muslims on 28 September 2000. In spite of the moderate final statement issued by the Arab leaders, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak announced the postponement of the peace process on 22 October 2000, i.e. a few hours after the closure of the Summit.

CAIRO, June 1996

For the first time, leaders of 21 Arab States – including presidents Assad and Qaddafi – expressed their support to the current peace process (Iraq was not invited). But they showed mistrust towards the Israeli new Prime Minister’s good will in achieving it and declare that if Israel renounces to ground principles of this process (UN resolutions 242, 338, 425 and the principle of exchanging land against peace) and the already signed commitments (Oslo Agreements, see Oslo peace process), those having normalized their relations with Israel would reconsider their position.

CAIRO, August 1990

Condemned the Iraqi invasion and annexation of Kuwait. It denounced the Iraq’s attitude of defiance towards the other Arab Gulf States. The participants called for an interposition Arab force.


Gave its support to the new PLO’s strategy of pursuing a peaceful settlement to its conflict with Israel (decisions of the PNC of Algiers, December 1988). Readmission of Egypt to the League of the Arab States.


Summit offering support to the uprising in the Occupied Territories. It reaffirmed the Fez decisions and strengthened the position of the PLO: King Hussein relinquished the « Jordan-Palestinian Option ».

AMMAN, 1987

Held just a few miles away from the territories occupied for more than 20 years, this summit concentrated on the Iran-Iraq War and is considered one of the causes of the Intifada because of the lack of interest devoted to the Palestinian question.


Denounced the agreements Egypt had signed separately and decided to suspend Egypt’s participation in the work of the League of the Arab States.

RABAT, 1974

Main decision : recognition of the PLO as sole representative of the Palestinian people.

FEZ, 1982

After the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, an Arab peace plan was proposed envisaging, inter alia, Israeli withdrawal from all territories occupied since 1967, the creation of an independent Palestinian State, and peace between all countries in the region. This meant implicit recognition of the State of Israel.


After their armies showed for the first time that the Israeli notion of security was inoperative, even when holding ideal strategic positions, the Heads of State affirmed the need to liberate all occupied Arab territories.


Convened after the Six Day War, the most serious Arab defeat, this summit was a demonstration of a harsh attitude toward the victor: refusal to recognize the State of Israel.

CAIRO, 1964

The first Arab Summit, held upon an initiative of President Nasser, had the aim of defining a united reaction to Israel’s diversion of the Jordan River, but this never progressed beyond the stage of an initial draft.