Arab League, an organization of Arab nations, officially called the League of Arab States. One of its members, Palestine, is not a fully independent nation; Palestine consists of the West Bank and Gaza Strip territories in which control is divided between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority. (For a listing of members, see box The Arab World.) Although its members share a common language, religion, and culture, the league has not achieved political unity, its primary goal.
Under the league pact, members agree to respect each other's independence, to settle disputes without war, and to coordinate policies on commerce, foreign relations, and other matters of mutual concern. The league's policy-making body is the council, on which all members are equally represented. Headquarters are in Cairo, Egypt. Special agencies include the Arab Postal Union, Arab Telecommunications Union, and Arab Organization for Agricultural Development.
The Arab League was formed in 1945 by Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia, Syria, and what is now Yemen. Other countries joined later.