Meetings between senior officials of the Arab League’s Economic and Social Council will conclude today in Cairo, Egypt.
The Council serves to address the economic development issues of its member states. This meeting was in preparation for the regular 31st session of the Arab League Summit, which will be hosted by Algeria in November.
It is likely that the Ukraine war will be a major topic of discussion at the upcoming Summit. Just recently in April, the Arab League sent a delegation to Moscow to discuss its response to the humanitarian crisis. Given the close ties of Arab countries like Egypt to Russia, economic relations with Moscow will likely be a key issue of debate. To date, most member states have toed a neutral line in the war, but have expressed concern about international grain shortages resulting from the conflict.
As global wheat prices skyrocket, Arab economies (many of which depend on wheat as a key import) face crippling inflation and rising commodity prices. It is unlikely that the Arab League will explicitly strengthen trade with Russia, for fear of economic retribution from the West. Discussions will instead focus on regional policies like maintaining food subsidies and standard of living.
Keely is an Analyst with regional expertise in Sub-Saharan Africa. A weekly contributor to the Daily Brief, she specializes in conflict dynamics and geopolitics in West and Central Africa.