Bahrain Summit signifies kingdom’s longstanding commitment to supporting joint Arab action

The Bahrain Summit convenes under the presidency of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, who has demonstrated ongoing commitment to actively engaging in collective efforts to bolster unified Arab stances.

The Arab Summit, held in Bahrain for the first time in its 33rd session, comes amidst pressing geopolitical challenges, particularly the Palestinian cause and stability in the Middle East. This is in addition to development, economic and social issues that will be addressed at the summit.

The summit is an extension of a historical legacy dating back to the founding of the Arab League in March 22, 1945, making it the oldest post-World War II regional organisation.

The concept of founding the Arab League arose before the mid-20th century as Arab nations sought to create a unified institution reflecting the Arab identity and bringing together Arab countries together amidst the global shift towards international and regional blocs after World War II.

The Arab League’s inception began with Egypt’s initiative in early 1944, hosting preliminary Arab consultations. On July 12, 1944, Mostafa Wl Nahas, former Prime Minister of Egypt, invited Arab governments to send delegates to the preparatory committee of the General Arab Conference, tasked with drafting proposals for Arab unity. The Meeting in Alexandria on September 25, 1944, the principles in the “Alexandria Protocol”, signed on October 7, 1944, laid the groundwork for the Arab League’s objectives.

The  22-member strong league now serves as a vital platform for representing Arab countries on the global stage, engaging with international bodies such as UN, the European Union, the African Union, ASEAN, and others.

During the five decades of its membership in the Arab League, the Kingdom of Bahrain has demonstrated the utmost dedication to being an active and influential actor.

The Bahraini policy at the Arab level is guided by the vision of HM the King, expressed in various platforms and situations. In his speech at the Jeddah Summit in May 2023, His Majesty state:” We meet today, hosted by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, to reiterate our resolve to continue joint Arab action with free will, determination and sincere collaboration; to consolidate stability, prosperity and harmony that our peoples must live in.”

His Majesty added :”Our means to achieve that is the approach of fair and comprehensive peace, which is an irreplaceable approach, to resolve all pending issues and ensure security, stability, and vital interests for the prosperity of all countries in the region; with no exception.”

His Majesty speech at the 32nd Arab Summit emphasised the priority Arab affairs hold in the kingdom’s foreign policy. Therefore, His Majesty has always been committed to attending all Arab Summits and supporting Arab action goals.

Within this framework, His Majesty exchanges frequent visits with Arab countries to hold talks that focus on advancing cooperation and coordination. In parallel, His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, also exchanges visits with Arab countries and leads the government’s efforts to work closely with Arab counterparts through agreements covering various sectors.

The kingdom has been steadfast in supporting for Arab rights, particularly the Palestinian cause, advocating for its resolution based on international legitimacy and the Arab Peace Initiative. Bahrain actively participates in peace efforts in the region and contributes significantly to counter-terrorism, piracy, organised crime, and initiatives for Arab economic cooperation.

In 2003, Bahrain chaired the fifteenth Arab Summit held in Sharm El Sheikh city in the Republic of Egypt in 2003, held amidst exceptional political and security conditions.

Bahrain chaired several meetings of the Arab League’s Council, the Ministerial Council and Arab committees. Hosting many Arab ministerial meetings, including the meeting of the Arab Ministerial Tourism Council and the Board of Governors of the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), The Arab Women Organisation meetings (AWO), and meetings of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union (AIPU). 

Bahrain has put forward initiatives aimed at enhancing Arab cooperation across political, economic, social, and cultural domains. This includes initiatives such as the establishment of the Arab Court for Human Rights and hosting the joint Arab Stock Exchange project and the “Derasat” Center initiative to establish the “Arab Research Centres for Sustainability and Development Complex”. These efforts aim to promote innovation in sustainable development. Bahrain’s commitment is further demonstrated through its signing and accession to numerous agreements, treaties and charters issued by the Arab League.

Within this context, Bahrain is a host of the headquarters of the Arab  Joint Stock Exchange Holding Company, which was established following an initiative it has led at Riyadh Economic Summit in 2013. It is also home for the Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard Bahrain (ASRY), which comes under the Arab League led Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC).

Bahrainis have also contributed to boosting joint Arab action as Bahrain had many leading positions since its accession to the Arab League affirming the kingdom’s keenness to serving and supporting the course of joint Arab action. As Khalil Ibrahim Al Thawadi, was appointed to be Arab League Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the Arab Affairs and National Security Sector. 

In addition to, Yusuf Jameel, Head of the Arab League Mission in New Delhi, and Adel bin Abdulrahman Al Asoomi, President of the Arab Parliament for the second consecutive time and Shura Council member and many others that have contributed their efforts and expertise.

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