The first Arab League summit since the COVID-19 pandemic will begin in Algeria, amid continuing political divisions among the organization’s members. Arab states are split over many issues including support for the Palestinian cause, the rehabilitation of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, the regional roles of Iran and Turkey and Algeria’s feud with Morocco.
Algeria has been largely absent from Arab affairs after the 2019 protests that led to the ousting of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The summit is a mark of Algeria’s return to diplomacy. Algiers convene Palestinian factions to attempt to end years of internal discord last month, and the country has hosted the leaders of France and Italy in the recent months. The presidents of Egypt and Tunisia and the monarchs of Kuwait and Qatar will attend the summit. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the United Arab Emirates leader Mohammed bin Zayed and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI have confirmed they will not be coming to Algiers for the summit.