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Key leaders skip Arab League summit in Algiers (Updated)
2 November 2022
The summit of the League of Arab States opened in the Algerian capital, Algiers, on Tuesday evening (1 November).
In the opening address, Algerian president Abdelmadjid Tebboune called for a strong Arab economic block that protects the common interests of Arab countries.
“We must all build a solid Arab economic block that protects our common interests, while working to define priorities and areas of common action, with an immediate and perceptible positive impact on the Arab peoples,” said President Tebboune in his speech to the participants in the 31st Arab Summit.
“We still face complex crises with multiple challenges and risks, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to instability, tug-of-war, and the exacerbation of the scourge of polarization. This situation has contributed to the proliferation of crises with effects on international peace and security and impact on several countries, particularly in terms of food security,” the Algerian president said.
A number of heavyweights are missing from the Algiers summit, including Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia and Mohammed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates. Other Gulf countries, except Qatar will not be represented by their head of state.
Another notable absentee is King Mohammed VI of Morrocco, who initially was thought would attend the summit.
AFP quoted Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita, saying that Morocco’s monarch initially confirmed his willingness to attend the Algiers summit.
“The Moroccan delegation did not receive any confirmation from Algeria through its channels” after inquiring about information on the arrangements for the King’s reception, Bourita said.
On the instructions of the King, the Moroccan foreign minister is leading a delegation, representing Morocco during the summit meetings. Relations between Algeria and Morrocco have been strained for a long time because of differences on the future of the territory of Western Sahara.