Full text of the Arab League summit's Bahrain Declaration

The 22 Arab countries agreed on a joint plan for the year that advocates for an end to Israel's war in Gaza and a two-state solution

Leaders attend the Arab League summit in Manama. Bahrain News Agency
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Below is the full text of the final communique issued by the Arab League after its summit in Bahrain on Thursday.

The Bahrain Declaration includes a lengthy section on the continuing war in Gaza, in which it calls for an immediate ceasefire, the deployment of peacekeepers to the occupied Palestinian territories and a lasting two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

It also discusses the conflicts in Libya, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, among other points.

Full text of Arab League's Bahrain Declaration

At the kind invitation of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Their Majesties, Highnesses and Excellencies, the leaders of the Arab States, held the Thirty-Third Ordinary Session of the Council of the League of Arab States at the Summit level (the Bahrain Summit), under the Chairmanship of His Majesty the King of the Kingdom of Bahrain, in affirmation of the bonds of brotherhood, history and common destiny that unite the Arab countries.

Believing in the importance of joint Arab action in maintaining the security and stability of Arab States, and of co-operation and integration in all fields, and emphasising the importance of dealing with the challenges and requirements of sustainable development through a unified strategic vision, for the good and benefit of the Arab peoples;

Recognising the strategic importance of the Arab nation at the global level, its economic potential and human resources, and the need to create conditions for enhanced co-operation, building economic partnerships and achieving comprehensive development based on common interests and mutual benefits, in order to meet the aspirations of our Arab peoples and achieve growth and prosperity;

Believing in the values of tolerance and human coexistence, promoting human fraternity and mutual respect among the nations and peoples of the world, supporting dialogue and understanding among religions, cultures and civilisations, promoting world peace and stability, adhering to the principles of our Islamic religion and our authentic Arab values, and consolidating fraternity, harmony and co-operation among the States of the world for the good and interest of humanity;

Committed to the principles of good neighbourliness, non-interference in internal affairs, mutual respect, peaceful resolution of disputes and directing efforts towards achieving peace, security and stability in the Middle East;

Keen to uphold solidarity, unity and synergy to deal collectively with current circumstances, and underlining the importance of communication, co-operation and integration to promote the collective progress of our States in all fields towards a secure, stable and prosperous region that meets the interests and aspirations of their peoples;

We, the leaders of the Arab countries collectively:

1- Express our condolences to the State of Kuwait and its brotherly people on the death of the late Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah, the late Amir of Kuwait, may God rest his soul, and we congratulate His Highness Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah, on His Highness's assumption of the reins of power in the State of Kuwait, wishing His Highness success and the people of Kuwait development and prosperity.

2- Express appreciation for the fine efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during its presidency of the Thirty-Second Arab Summit, and its generous endeavours to unify efforts, support joint Arab action, enhance regional security, and defend the interests of Arab countries and their peoples.

3- Reaffirm the importance of the continuation of the Arab-Islamic Joint Ministerial Committee in its efforts aimed at stopping the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, ending the humanitarian catastrophe afflicting over two million three hundred thousand Palestinian citizens, and mobilising an international position in support of the right of the brotherly Palestinian people to live in security, safety and freedom in their independent and sovereign State on their national soil. We thank the Committee for its efforts at the regional and international level, expressing appreciation for the efforts of the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States in preparing and arranging for the holding of the Thirty-Third Summit.

4- Emphasise the need to immediately halt the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, the withdrawal of the Israeli occupation forces from all areas of the Strip, the lifting of the siege imposed on it, the removal of all obstacles and the opening of all crossings for the entry of adequate humanitarian assistance throughout it, and enabling United Nations organisations, especially the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to operate, and to provide them with financial support to carry out their responsibilities freely and securely. We reiterate our categorical rejection of any attempts to forcibly displace the Palestinian people from their land in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. We call for urgent action for an immediate and permanent ceasefire, an end to the aggression in the Gaza Strip, protection of civilians and the release of hostages and detainees.

In this context, we strongly condemn Israel's obstruction of ceasefire efforts in the Gaza Strip and its continued military escalation through the expansion of its aggression against the Palestinian city of Rafah, despite international warnings of catastrophic humanitarian consequences.

We also condemn the Israeli forces' control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing with the aim of tightening the siege on civilians in the Strip. This has led to the suspension of the crossing's functioning and the cessation of the flow of humanitarian aid, and the loss of the main lifeline of the Palestinian population of Gaza, and in this regard we call on Israel to withdraw from Rafah, in order to ensure safe humanitarian access.

We reaffirm the firm and permanent Arab position in support of the Palestinian issue, which remains a central issue and the foundation upon which peace and stability in the region can be achieved, and our categorical rejection of all attempts to displace the Palestinian people inside or outside their land, as a clear violation of international law, which we will collectively confront. We reaffirm our strong condemnation of all illegal Israeli measures and practices that target the brotherly Palestinian people and deprive them of their right to freedom, statehood, life and human dignity, as are guaranteed by international laws.

We reiterate our firm position and call for a just and comprehensive peaceful settlement of the Palestinian issue, and we support the call of His Excellency President Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, to convene an international peace conference and to take irreversible steps to implement the two-state solution in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and resolutions of international legitimacy to establish an independent and sovereign Palestinian state on the lines of 4 June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital, and to accept its membership in the United Nations as an independent and fully sovereign state in common with other countries in the world, and to ensure the restoration of all legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, in particular, the right to return and self-determination, empowerment and support.

We call on the international community to implement the relevant Security Council resolutions issued since the outbreak of the war in Gaza, including resolution 2720, and urge the United Nations Senior Humanitarian Coordinator to expedite the establishment and activation of the UN mechanism stipulated in the resolution to be established inside the Gaza Strip to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid, and to overcome all obstacles imposed by Israel to the entry of aid in sufficient quantities to respond to the humanitarian catastrophe in the Strip. We call for the co-ordination of a joint Arab effort to provide humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip urgently and immediately, in co-operation with the relevant United Nations organisations.

In this context, we call on the international community to fulfil its legal obligations and take decisive measures to end the Israeli occupation of the Arab territories occupied in June 1967, including the occupied Syrian Golan and southern Lebanon, and to implement the relevant Security Council resolutions.

We stress the need for Israel, the occupying Power, to cease all its illegal actions that violate the rights of the Palestinian people and undermine the two-State solution and the prospects for a just and comprehensive peace in the region, including the construction and expansion of settlements, the confiscation of Palestinian land and the displacement of Palestinians from their homes.

We stress the need to halt all Israeli military operations and settler terrorism against the Palestinian people in the occupied West Bank and to end all measures that impede the growth of the Palestinian economy, including the withholding of Palestinian funds, in violation of international law, international humanitarian law and resolutions of international legitimacy.

We stress the sanctity of the occupied city of Jerusalem and its place among the monotheistic religions. We reject and condemn all Israeli attempts aimed at the Judaisation of Jerusalem, changing its Arab, Islamic and Christian identity, or changing the historical and legal status quo in it and its holy sites, whilst also stressing the need to protect the holy places in Bethlehem and to not compromise its cultural identity and religious sanctity.

We affirm our support for the historic Hashemite Custodianship of Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, and its role in protecting its Arab, Islamic and Christian identity, as well as its role in protecting the historical and legal status quo in Jerusalem and its holy sites, noting that the Al-Aqsa Mosque / Al-Haram Al-Sharif with its entire area of 144,000 square meters, is a place of worship exclusively for Muslims, emphasising that the Jordanian Directorate of Jerusalem Endowments and the Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs is the exclusive legitimate body with jurisdiction to manage the affairs of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, and to maintain it and regulate entry to it.

We reaffirm our support for the role of the chairmanship of the Al-Quds Committee and the Bayt Mal Al-Quds Al-Sharif Agency, chaired by His Majesty King Mohammed VI of the Kingdom of Morocco.

We express grave concern over the recent military escalation in the region and the seriousness of its repercussions for regional security and stability. We call on all parties to exercise restraint and spare the region and its peoples the dangers of war and the increase in tension, and we call on the United Nations Security Council to assume its responsibility towards the maintenance of international peace and security, and to work to implement its resolutions related to a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, and to prevent the escalation of the crisis and the expansion of conflict in the Middle East.

We call on the international community to assume its responsibilities to follow-up efforts to advance the peace process to achieve a just and comprehensive peace based on the two-state solution, which embodies an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital on the lines of the fourth of June 1967, able to live in security and peace alongside Israel in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy and established references, including the Arab Peace Initiative.

We call for the deployment of United Nations international protection and peacekeeping forces in the occupied Palestinian territory until the two-state solution is implemented.

In this context, we stress the responsibility of the Security Council to take clear measures to implement the two-state solution, and we stress the need to set a time limit for the political process, and for aresolution to be issued by the Security Council under Chapter VII to establish an independent, sovereign, viable and contiguous Palestinian state on the lines of the fourth of June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital, and to end any occupation presence on its territory, while holding Israel responsible for the destruction of cities and civilian facilities in the Gaza Strip.

We welcome the decision of the United Nations General Assembly at its meeting on 10 May 2024 on the request of the State of Palestine to obtain full membership of the United Nations, supported by 143 countries, and we call on the United Nations Security Council to reconsider its resolution issued in this regard in its session on 18 April 2024. We ask the Council to be fair and supportive of the rights of the Palestinian people to life, freedom and human dignity, and to work to implement its resolutions related to the Palestinian issue and the occupied Arab territories. We value the positions of the countries which have recognised the State of Palestine, and those which have announced that they will recognise it.

We call on all Palestinian factions to join together under the umbrella of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and to agree on a comprehensive national project and a unified strategic vision to focus efforts towardsachieving the aspirations of the Palestinian people to achieve their legitimate rights and establish their independent national State on their national soil, on the basis of the two state solution, and in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy and established references.

5- Express our full solidarity with the brotherly Republic of Sudan in preserving its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and preserving the institutions of the Sudanese state, foremost of which are the armed forces, and we call for commitment to the implementation of the Jeddah Declaration in order to reach a ceasefire that guarantees the opening of humanitarian relief channels and the protection of civilians. We also urge the Sudanese government and the Rapid Support Forces to engage seriously and effectively with initiatives aimed at settling the crisis, including through the Jeddah platform, neighbouring countries and others, in order to end the ongoing conflict, restore security and stability in Sudan and end the plight of the brotherly Sudanese people.

6- Reaffirm the need to end the Syrian crisis, in line with Security Council Resolution 2254, in a way that preserves Syria's security, sovereignty and territorial integrity, achieves the aspirations of its people, rids it of terrorism, and provides an environment for the dignified, safe and voluntary return of refugees. We reject interference in Syria's internal affairs and any attempts to bring about demographic changes in it.

We stress the importance of the role of the Arab Liaison Committee and the Arab initiative to resolve the crisis and the need to implement the Amman Communiqué. We also support the efforts of the United Nations in this regard. We stress the need to find conditions to ensure the dignified, safe and voluntary return of Syrian refugees to their country, including the lifting of unilateral coercive measures imposed on Syria, and the need for the international community to continue to shoulder its responsibilities towards them and to support host countries until their dignified, safe and voluntary return to Syria is achieved, in accordance with international standards. We warn of the repercussions of declining international support for Syrian refugees and their host countries.

7- Renew our firm support for the Presidential Leadership Council of the Republic of Yemen headed by His Excellency Dr. Rashad Mohammed Al-Alimi, and support the efforts of the Yemeni government in its endeavour to achieve national reconciliation among all components of the brotherly Yemeni people, as well as Yemeni unity to achieve security and stability in the country. We also support UN and regional efforts aimed at reaching a comprehensive political solution to the Yemeni crisis in accordance with the internationally established references represented by the Gulf Initiative and its implementation mechanism, the outcomes of the Yemeni National Dialogue and Security Council Resolution No. 2216, in order to achieve our collective goal to achieve the legitimate aspirations of the brotherly Yemeni people for peace, stability, development and prosperity.

8- Express our full support for the State of Libya, its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, the cessation of interference in its internal affairs, and the withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries from its territory within a specified period of time. We call on the Libyan House of Representatives and the High Consultative Council of the State to quickly agree on the issuance of electoral laws that meet the demands of the Libyan people to achieve simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections and end the transitional periods. We affirm support for efforts to reach a political settlement in line with the terms of reference of the solution, leading to the simultaneous holding of presidential and parliamentary elections as soon as possible, holding elections and unifying state institutions, to achieve the aspirations of the Libyan people. We call on all parties in Libya to continue the political process and achieve national reconciliation in a way that preserves the supreme interests of the State of Libya and achieves for its people their aspirations for peace, stability and prosperity. We praise the efforts of Libya's neighbouring countries, the League of Arab States, the United Nations and the African Union in bringing the views of the Libyan parties closer to restore Libyan unity and reach a political settlement to the Libyan crisis.

9- Also affirm our support for the Lebanese Republic and its sovereignty, stability and territorial integrity, and urge all Lebanese parties to give priority to the election of the President of the Republic, and to strengthen the work of constitutional institutions, address political and security challenges, implement the necessary economic reforms, and strengthen the capabilities of the Lebanese Armed Forces and Internal Security Forces to maintain Lebanon's security and stability and protect its internationally recognised borders in the face of Israeli aggressions.

10- Reaffirm our unwavering support for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of The Federal Republic of Somalia, and our solidarity with Somalia in protecting its sovereignty and confronting any measures that may detract from this. We support the efforts of the Somali government in combating terrorism, maintaining its security and stability, and advancing the process of sustainable development, and prosperity for the good and benefit of the brotherly Somali people.

11- Reaffirm the sovereignty of the United Arab Emirates over its three islands (Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa), and call on the Islamic Republic of Iran to respond to the initiative of the United Arab Emirates to find a peaceful solution to this issue through direct negotiations or recourse to the International Court of Justice, in accordance with the rules of international law and the Charter of the United Nations, which will contribute to confidence-building and enhancing security and stability in the Arabian Gulf region.

12- We reaffirm that Arab water security is an integral part of Arab national security, especially for the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Republic of Sudan, and emphasise the rejection of any action or procedure that infringes their rights to the waters of the Nile, as well as in the case of the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Iraq in respect to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and express solidarity with them in taking necessary measures to protect their security and water interests, expressing deep concern about the continuation of unilateral measures that would harm their water interests.

13- Reiterate our total and firm rejection of any support for armed groups or militias that operate outside the sovereignty of states and pursue or implement foreign agendas that contradict the supreme interests of Arab states, while stressing solidarity with all Arab countries in defending their sovereignty and territorial integrity and protecting their national institutions against any external attempts to attack, impose influence, undermine sovereignty, or prejudice Arab interests.

14- Strongly reiterate our firm position against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, categorically rejecting its motives and justifications, whilst working to dry up its sources of financing, supporting international efforts to combat extremist terrorist organisations, prevent their financing, and confront the serious repercussions of terrorism on the region and its threat to international peace and security.

15- Call for the adoption of deterrent measures, in accordance with the resolutions adopted by the League of Arab States and the United Nations Security Council, to combat extremism, hate speech and incitement, and to condemn these acts wherever they may occur, given their negative impact on social peace and the sustainability of international peace and security, and how they encourage the spread, escalation and recurrence of conflicts around the world, and destabilises security and stability. We also call on all States to promote the values of tolerance, peaceful coexistence and human fraternity, and to reject hatred, sectarianism, intolerance, discrimination and extremism in all its forms.

16- Reaffirm our adherence to the freedom of maritime navigation in international waters in accordance with the rules of international law and the conventions of the law of the sea, and to guarantee freedom of navigation in the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Gulf, and strongly condemn the threats to commercial shipping which threaten freedom of navigation, international trade and the interests of the countries and peoples of the world.

17- Reiterate our call for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction, and support the right of States to possess peaceful nuclear energy. We urge them to fulfil their obligations and co-operate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency and not to exceed the uranium enrichment rates required for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

18- Affirm our determination to continue efforts to strengthen partnerships, strategic dialogues and joint co-operation with international blocs and friendly countries at all political, security, economic and social levels, within the framework of the principles of mutual respect, non-interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries, constructive dialogue, understanding and joint co-ordination, to promote common interests, and advance development and prosperity, to face all current challenges.

19- Reaffirm our keenness to co-operate closely with the United Nations and its specialised agencies, and to adhere to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and international law to maintain international peace and security, and support their efforts to address global challenges, including achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030, climate change, environmental protection, human rights, poverty, water and food security, renewable energy, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

20. Express our appreciation to the Kingdom of Bahrain for hosting the Thirty-Third Arab Summit and for its keenness and interest in developing prospects for joint Arab co-operation in various fields, and for the initiatives it has proposed aimed at creating a secure and stable environment for all peoples of the Middle East to start the phase of the recovery of the region, as follows:

I. Issuing a collective call to convene an international conference under the auspices of the United Nations to resolve the Palestinian issue based on the two-state solution, which ends the Israeli occupation of all occupied Arab territories, embodying an independent, sovereign and viable Palestinian state in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy, to live in peace and security alongside Israel, as a way to achieve a just and comprehensive peace.

II. Directing the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Arab States to take immediate action to communicate with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the countries of the world to urge them to quickly recognise the State of Palestine, and for the Ministers of Foreign Affairs to consult on how to proceed, and to inform the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States, in support of Arab efforts to obtain full membership of the State of Palestine in the United Nations as an independent and fully sovereign State, and to intensify Arab efforts with all members of the Security Council to achieve this recognition.

III. Providing educational services to those affected by conflicts in the region, who have been deprived of their right to formal education due to the security and political situation and the repercussions of displacement, asylum and migration, in co-operation and co-ordination between the League of Arab States, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

IV. Improving healthcare for those affected by conflicts in the region, developing the pharmaceutical and vaccine industry in Arab countries, and ensuring the availability of medicine and treatment, in co-operation and joint co-ordination between the League of Arab States, the World Health Organisation and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

V. Developing Arab co-operation in the field of financial technology, innovation and digital transformation, in order to provide an appropriate environment for the development of innovative financial products and services using modern technology.

Updated: May 16, 2024, 5:38 PM