Leaders hold final day of Arab League summit amid cost of living crisis

© Fethi Belaid, AFP

Arab leaders convened on Wednesday in Algeria for the second day of the 31st summit of the largest annual Arab conference, seeking common ground on several divisive issues in the region. The meeting comes against the backdrop of rising inflation, food and energy shortages, drought and soaring cost of living across the Middle East and Africa.

The kings, emirs, presidents and prime ministers discussed thorny issues during a two-day gathering in the capital Algiers, such as the establishment of diplomatic ties between Israel and four Arab countries as former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right allies appears to be heading to an election victory.

The summit’s discussions were also focused on the food and energy crises aggravated by Russia's war in Ukraine that has had devastating consequences for Egypt, Lebanon and Tunisia, among other Arab countries, struggling to import enough wheat and fuel to satisfy their populations.

Arab leaders acknowledged the dire consequences of the Ukraine war for their nations and one after another called for a “collective Arab action” to face common challenges. Those include food and energy shortages and the effects of climate change on their societies. But they presented no details on a potential mechanism that would help feed their people.

Deepening the crisis is the worst drought in several decades that has ravaged swaths of Somalia, one of the Arab League’s newer members, bringing some areas of the country to the brink of famine.

(AP)


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