The Arab League considers itself a loose confederation of 22 Arab nations, whose broad mission is to improve coordination and communication among its members in terms of common interest. The League was developed in response to concerns about post-war colonial territory divisions. The initial agreement was signed in Cairo on March 22, 1945 by representatives of the first six member states–Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Saudi Arabia, and there are indications that they will be signing another agreement on the basis of an Arab military force in the near future. 

Since the League’s formation, there have been significant changes and advances within the group. Within the past few years–May of 2013 exactly–the League’s 2002 peace initiative regarding negotiation between the Israelis and Palestinians was revived when the League suggested the proposal could be modified to better line up with American and Israeli ideas. In July of 2013, Arab League diplomats praised Secretary of State John Kerry’s proposals for Middle East peace negotiations, which was seen as a sign that talks of the Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative might be resumed.

However, on August 28th, 2013, the League placed blame on the Syrian government for a chemical attack that killed hundreds of people, but refused to back a retaliatory military strike led by President Obama. This left Obama without the level of regional support he had for his previous military intervention in Libya in 2011. Deviating from their actions in August, in September of 2013, the League urged international action against the Syrian government on account of their use of chemical weaponry. This change in pace suggested they were ready to support western military efforts, but it was not to the full extent that the United States and some of its allies were hoping for.

Most recently, Libyan foreign minister Mohamed el-Dayri asked Arab League countries for military help in fighting the Islamic State. The League agreed to a joint Arab military force on March 29th of this year. Leaders of the League are vowing to defeat Iranian-backed Shiite rebels in Yemen through the creation of the joint Arab military force. The heads of the Arab league met in Egypt to agree on terms, but the entire process could take months.

This transition to a joint military force could mean multiple things for the Arab League in terms of international business. This solidified effort against a common enemy could strengthen bonds between the members and could lead to better business in the future. Or, it could remind them that they have differing views on the ways they handle situations and could negatively impact future business ventures. This joint military affects more than the safety of the nations involved, it could translate over to how they interact with each other outside of the military field as well. 

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