The Palestine Liberation Organization, founded after the Arab League's Cairo Summit of 1964, was admitted in 1976. There are four observer members: Eritrea, Brazil, Venezuela and India. The charter of the Arab League affirms each state's sovereignty, stressing that the organization is neither a union nor federation.
The League underwent further upheaval in 1979. Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel, prompting the other members to suspend the country from the Arab League and move the headquarters from Cairo to Tunis. The parties didn't mend fences until 1987, when Egypt was allowed back in the League. The headquarters didn't return to Cairo until two years later. In February 2011, Libya became the second member in the League's history to be suspended when the government used military force against civilian protesters. However, the League decried the use of Western airstrikes to enforce a League-blessed no-fly zone above Libya.
League members unite to forge a number of programs and policies ranging from education to economic in their respective states, but the countries also tend to form a bloc on the world stage in forums such as the United Nations. The League also meets and foments unified policy on current events ranging from the Mideast peace process to wars and international intervention.
Bodies within include the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALESCO) and the Economic and Social Council of the Arab League's Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU). One of the topics focused on is literacy; the member with the highest rate is Kuwait, while the lowest among those who submit their literacy rates is Morocco. The League also has a joint military defense cooperation agreement signed in 1950.
The vast majority of resident of Arab League countries are Muslim; of those, there are more Sunnis than Shiites. The least Islamic country is Lebanon, which is 40 percent Christian.
The secretary-general of the Arab League since 2001 is Amr Moussa, once Egypt's minister of foreign affairs and that country's ambassador to the United Nations.