The Arab Union is a theoretical political union of the Arab states. The term was first used when the British Empire promised the Arabs a united independent state in return for revolting against the Ottoman Empire, with whom Britain was at war. It never came to fruition following the Sykes–Picot Agreement. Despite this, many in the Arab world have since called for the creation of a pan-Arab state. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser made several unsuccessful attempts to unite Egypt with other Arab countries (including Iraq and North Yemen), and briefly succeeded in forming the United Arab Republic with Syria in 1958, which dissolved in 1971.[1] Similar attempts were made by other Arab leaders, such as Hafez al-Assad, Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, Faisal I of Iraq, Muammar Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, Gaafar Nimeiry and Anwar Sadat.


In the 2004 Arab League summit in Cairo, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh proposed the creation of an Arab Union replacing the Arab League for a stronger political and geographical body, capable of dealing with world issues. However, the proposal failed to reach the League's agenda.

During the Arab Spring in 2011, Saudi Arabia raised a proposal to transform the Gulf Cooperation Council into a "Gulf Union" with tighter economic, political and military coordination, regarded as a move to counterbalance the Iranian influence in the region.[2][3] Objections were raised against the proposal by other countries.[4][5] In 2014, Bahrain prime minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa said that current events in the region highlighted the importance of the proposal.[6]

Failed unificationsEdit

Successful unificationsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Egypt, Syria Union Aim at Arab Unity". The San Francisco Examiner. Associated Press. February 2, 1958.
  2. ^ Abd al-Hadi Khalaf (14 January 2013). "GCC Members Consider Future of Union". Al-Monitor. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2022.
  3. ^ Andrew Hammond (17 May 2012). "Analysis: Saudi Gulf union plan stumbles as wary leaders seek detail". Andrew Hammond. Reuters. Retrieved 10 June 2022.
  4. ^ Kareem Fahim; David D. Kirkpatrick (14 May 2012). "Saudi Arabia Seeks Union of Monarchies in Region". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 June 2022.
  5. ^ "Gulf Union on agenda at annual GCC summit". Al Arabiya. 10 December 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2022.
  6. ^ "Gulf Union 'crucial for stability'". Gulf Daily News. 12 August 2014. Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2022.