The League of Arab States (LAS) was formed in Cairo in 1945. The organization includes 22 member countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Palestine, Qatar, Syria (suspended), Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen.
The main decision-making body is the League Council, in which all the members are represented and which meets, in principle, twice a year, but may also hold extraordinary meetings. The Council Presidency works on a rotating basis by members of the LAS, for a period of six months. The League Summits occur once a year, normally in March.
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was the first Brazilian Head of State to visit the headquarters of the League, in December 2003. In 2005, the Secretary General of the LAS announced the decision to reopen the Mission of the League in Brasilia (closed since the mid-1990s) and to appoint a resident Representative – which has already been done.
Brazil and the Arab League have intensified political contacts and institutional ties. They work together in the organization of the ASPA Summits (South American-Arab Countries) – where they act, respectively, as the coordinators of South American and Arab countries. In 2014, the League Council agreed to accredit the Brazilian Ambassador in Egypt as the Special Representative of Brazil to the League of Arab States, a significant step towards the strengthening of the Brazilian relationship with that organization and with the Arab countries.
There are Brazilian Embassies in 17 out of the 22 member States of the League, the same number of Arab countries' Embassies in Brasilia. From 2002 to 2013, trade with Arab League countries has increased from US$ 4.9 billion to US$ 25.4 billion (US$ 2.6 billion surplus for Brazil in 2013).