The Arab League Summit: Three Things to Know

March 26, 2012

The Arab League Summit: Three Things to Know
Explainer Video
from Video

This week’s Arab League Summit in Baghdad presents three important issues, says CFR’s Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow Ned Parker:

More From Our Experts
  • How the Arab League can stay vital and relevant in a changing Middle East with publics clamoring for greater freedom;
  • How to deal with Syria, which exposes the Sunni-Shia divisions within the League, preventing a decisive resolution; and
  • Whether Iraq can hold a successful summit despite its volatile political and security situation.

More on:

International Organizations

Iraq

Parker says Sunni-Shia divisions and regional politics make it unlikely that this week’s summit will result in any firm action to resolve the continuing conflict in Syria. He adds that these regional divisions, especially between Gulf states that are mostly Sunni, and states with Shiite populations like Iraq and Lebanon, also prevent the League from becoming a more forward-looking organization. Parker concludes that if Iraq can hold a successful summit, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki "will be toasted by his people and it will be a boon for him in his own nasty political wars at home."

More on:

International Organizations

Iraq

Close

Top Stories on CFR

Sudan

Bolivia

Exit polls indicate socialist candidate Luis Arce will become Bolivia’s next president. The peaceful vote signaled an end to a year of electoral uncertainty, but the victor will now confront social upheaval and economic hardship intensified by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Conflict Prevention

Peace negotiators often overlook a proven strategy to reduce conflict and advance stability: include women.