The Arab League Summit: Three Things to Know

The Arab League Summit: Three Things to Know

March 26, 2012 3:47 pm (EST)

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 From Our Experts

More on:

International Organizations

Iraq

Close

Top Stories on CFR

Taiwan

To maintain peace in the Taiwan Strait, U.S. policy will need to adjust to deal with a more capable and assertive China.

Colombia

Over the two centuries since Colombia’s independence, the relationship between Washington and Bogota has evolved into a close economic and security partnership. But it has at times been strained by U.S. intervention, Cold War geopolitics, and the war on drugs.

United States

Colin Powell’s extraordinary career as a soldier-statesman provides a model for how to live one’s life in the public arena at a time few such models can be found.