Algeria is finalising preparations for the 31st Arab League Summit to be held on 1 and 2 November. The objective is clear: to unite all Arab forces without fissures in order to face the challenges that exist in the region and at the global level.
Algeria is expecting a large political representation from the various Arab countries that have been invited, including at the level of presidents and heads of state. Morocco, a political rival in the Maghreb with which Algeria unilaterally broke off diplomatic relations in August 2021 due to political disagreements between the two countries, including the dispute over the status of Western Sahara, has even been confirmed. On this point, the Alawi kingdom defends a formula of broad autonomy for the territory under Moroccan sovereignty, which has important international support, such as that of the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Germany and Spain; while, in contrast, Algeria is aligned with the Polisario Front's proposal based on the holding of a referendum on independence for the Sahrawi people, which has less political support. Morocco has tried to redirect the situation, including messages from King Mohammed VI inviting closer ties and making it clear that Morocco and Algeria should go hand in hand as brotherly peoples.
Rabat has not yet confirmed the hierarchical level of its representation at this important meeting, although there is even talk of King Mohammed VI travelling to Algeria. The political meeting will be attended by prominent figures such as Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Moussa Faki, President of the African Union Commission, Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan, and Adel bin Abdul Rahman al-Assoumi, President of the Arab Parliament.
According to Al-Ain News, Algerian sources indicated that the relevant authorities have completed all preparations to host the summit. The summit will take place at the Abdelatif Rahal International Conference Centre (CIC), 25 kilometres from Algiers. This imposing complex, named after a diplomatic advisor to former president Bouteflika, was built by a Chinese company at a cost of $688 million, according to media reports such as Jeune Afrique. This facility has a 705-seat conference room, where a working group made up of representatives of the Presidency of the Republic of Algeria, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the security and intelligence services has been set up to complete all the preparations for this great event.
For their part, the official delegations of the different countries will be housed in the villas designated for them within the heavily guarded residential complex dedicated to high-ranking Algerian officials, in addition to the Sheraton hotel and other high-class hotels for accompanying persons, as reported by Al-Ain News. Algeria's Communication Ministry said journalists from 24 countries have been accredited to cover the summit's activities, with two hotels allocated for their accommodation. They will be transported to the summit venue in private buses.
The Algeria Summit will be the first to be fully digitally hosted, as all sessions will be completely paperless and high-speed internet will be provided to all attendees.
Preparatory meetings for the summit are scheduled to begin next week in Algeria at the level of permanent delegates, followed by a meeting of Arab Foreign Ministers immediately prior to the summit to agree on the draft final declaration.
Issues of relevance to the Arab world, such as the Palestinian question, Arab food security and the energy crisis (both aggravated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine) will be discussed in Algeria.
Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary General of the League of Arab States, was in Algeria last week to meet with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra to finalise preparations for this political meeting.
The #Algiers Arab Summit ?? scheduled for November 1-2 will be a “unifying summit,” said Secretary General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit Monday in Agiers after the audience granted to him by President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune. https://t.co/3wXWJc0KZ3— Algerian Embassy in the USA (@Ambalgindc) October 18, 2022
The aim is to have representation at the highest level from the various Arab spheres to deal with the most pressing problems and issues. In this vein, Aboul Gheit noted that a group would be set up at the next summit to consult directly among Arab leaders on various issues, without resorting to lower-level positions, something that could allow for greater unity of joint Arab action to address all the challenges.