Arab League summit to hold first annual summit for three years in Algeria

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The Arab League will hold its first annual summit for three years in November in Algeria, the bloc said on Wednesday, after the pandemic forced the meetings’ suspension.

The two-day summit is usually held in March and was originally slated for later this month, but will now be held in Algiers starting on November 1, the organization’s chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit said.

The last summit was held in Tunis in March 2019.

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A meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo on Wednesday discussed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, citing “the need to reach a diplomatic solution” in a final statement.

But Aboul Gheit warned that the war “must not let us forget the Arab crises that are not over.”

Conflict and crises persist in several Arab countries.

Yemen has been mired in war since 2014. The UN has estimated the conflict killed 377,000 people by the end of 2021, both directly and indirectly through hunger and disease, while millions have been displaced.

Sudan is reeling after a military coup in October that derailed a fragile transition to civilian rule, following the 2019 toppling of longtime strongman Omar al-Bashir.

Libya now finds itself with two rival prime ministers vying for power, in a standoff that threatens a return to violence after a year and a half of relative stability.

Arab countries are also divided over the issue of a return of Syria to the Arab League, following its suspension in 2011 after the brutal repression of peaceful protests spiraled into a complex civil war.

This year’s summit is important for Algeria, which has been seeking to expand its political sphere of influence, against the backdrop of heightened tensions with Morocco.

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