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The Arab League: Joint Defense & Economic Cooperation Treaty

(June 17, 1950; February 2, 1951; February 16, 1952)

The Governments of:

In view of the desire of the above-mentioned Governments to consolidate relations between the States of the Arab League; to maintain their independence and their mutual heritage; in accordance with the desire of their peoples, to cooperate for the realization of mutual defense and the maintenance of security and peace according to the principles of both the Arab League Pact and the United Nations Charter, together with the . of the said Pacts; and to consolidate stability and security and provide means of welfare and development in the countries.

The following government delegates of . . ., having been duly accredited and fully authorized by their respective governments, approve the following:


Article 1

The Contracting States, in an effort to maintain and stabilize peace and security, hereby confirm their desire to settle their international disputes by peaceful means, whether such disputes concern relations among themselves or with other Powers.


Article 2

The Contracting States consider any (act of) armed aggression made against any one or more of them or their armed forces, to be directed against them all. Therefore, in accordance with the right of self-defense, individually and collectively, they undertake to go without delay to the aid of the State or States against which such an act of aggression is made, and immediately to take, individually and collectively, all steps available, including the use of armed force, to repel the aggression and restore security and peace. In conformity with Article 6 of the Arab League Pact and Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, the Arab League Council and U.N. Security Council shall be notified of such act of aggression and the means and procedure taken to check it.


Article 3

At the invitation of any one of the signatories of this Treaty the Contracting States shall hold consultations whenever there are reasonable grounds for the belief that the territorial integrity, independence, or security of any one of the parties is threatened. In the event of the threat of war or the existence of an international emergency, the Contracting States shall immediately proceed to unify their plans and defensive measures, as the situation may demand.


Article 4

The Contracting States, desiring to implement fully the above obligations and effectively carry them out, shall cooperate in consolidating and coordinating their armed forces, and shall participate according to their resources and needs in preparing individual and collective means of defense to repulse the. said armed aggression.


Article 5

A Permanent Military Commission composed of representatives of the General Staffs of the armies of the Contracting States shall be formed to draw up plans of joint defense and their implementation. The duties of the Permanent Military Commission which are set forth in an Annex attached to this Treaty, include the drafting of necessary reports on the method of cooperation and participation mentioned in Article 4. The Permanent Military Commission shall submit to the joint Defense Council, provided hereunder in Article 6, reports dealing with questions within its province.


Article 6

A Joint Defense Council under the supervision of the Arab League Council shall be formed to deal with all matters concerning the implementation of the provisions of Articles 2, 3, 4, and 5 of this Treaty. It shall be assisted in the performance of its task by the Permanent Military Commission referred to in Article 5. The joint Defense Council shall consist of the Foreign Ministers and the Defense Ministers of the Contracting States or their representatives. Decisions taken by a two-thirds majority shall be binding on all the Contracting States.


Article 7

The Contracting States, in order to fulfill the aims of this Treaty, and to bring about security and prosperity in the Arab countries, and in an effort to raise the standard of living in them, undertake to cooperate in the development of their economics and the exploitation of their natural resources; to facilitate the exchange of their respective agricultural and industrial products; and generally to organize and coordinate their economic activities and to conclude the necessary inter-Arab agreements to realize such aims.


Article 8

An Economic Council consisting of the Ministers in charge of economic affairs, or their representatives if necessary, shall be formed by the Contracting States to submit recommendations for the realization of all such ainls as are set forth in the previous article. The Council may, in the performance of its duties, seek the cooperation of the Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs referred to in Article 4 of the Arab League Pact.


Article 9

The Annex to this Treaty shall be considered an integral and indivisible part of it.


Article 10

The Contracting States undertake to conclude no international agreements which may be contradictory to the provisions of this Treaty, nor to act, in their international relations, in a way which may be contrary to the aims of this Treaty.


Article 11

No provision of this Treaty shall in any way affect, or is intended to affect, any of the rights or obligations devolving upon the Contracting States from the United Nations Charter or the responsibilities borne by the United Nations Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security.


Article 12

After a lapse of 1 0 years from the date of the ratification of this Treaty, any one of the Contracting States may withdraw from it, providing 12 months' notice is previously given to the Secretariat-General of the Arab League. The Secretariat-General of the League shall inform the other Contracting States of such notice.


Article 13

This Treaty shall be ratified by each Contracting State according to the constitutional procedure of its own government. The Treaty shall come into force for the ratifying States 15 days after the receipt by the Secretariat-General of the instruments of ratification from at least four States. This Treaty is drafted in Arabic in Cairo on April 13, 1950. One signed copy shall be deposited with the Secretariat-General of the Arab League; equally authentic copies shall be transmitted to each of the Contracting States.


Military Annex

1. The Permanent Military Commission provided for in Article 5 of the joint Defense and Economic Cooperation Treaty between the States of the Arab League, shall undertake the following: (a) in cooperation with the joint Defense Council, to prepare plans to deal with all anticipated dangers or armed aggression that may be launched against one or more of the Contracting States or their armed forces, such plans to be based on the principles determined by the joint Defense Council; (b) to submit proposals for the organization of the forces of the Contracting States, stipulating the minimum force for each in accordance with military exigencies and the potentialities of each State; (c) to submit proposals for increasing the effectiveness of the forces of the Contracting States in so far as their equipment, organization, and training are concerned; so that they may keep pace with modem military methods and development; and for the unification and coordination of all such forces; (d) to submit proposals for the exploitation of natural, agricultural, industrial, and other resources of all Contracting States in favor of the inter-Arab military effort and joint defense; (e) to organize the exchange of training missions between the Contracting States for the preparation of plans, participation in military exercises and maneuvers and the study of their results, recommendations for the improvement of methods to ensure close cooperation in the field, and for the general improvement of the forces of all the Contracting States; (f) to prepare the necessary data on the resources and military potentialities of each of the Contracting States and the part to be played by the forces of each in the joint military effort; (g) to discuss the facilities and various contributions which each of the Contracting States, in conformity with the provisions of this Treaty, might be asked to provide, during a state of war, on behalf of the armies of such other Contracting States as might be operating on its territory.

2. The Permanent Military Commission may form temporary or permanent subcommittees from among its own members to deal with any of the matters falling within its jurisdiction. It may also seek the advice of any experts whose views on certain questions are deemed necessary.

3. The Permanent Military Commission shall submit detailed reports on the results of its activities and studies to the joint Defense Council provided for in Article 6 of this Treaty, as well as an annual report giving full particulars of its work and studies during the year.

4. The Permanent Military Commission shall establish its headquarters in Cairo but may hold meetings in any other place the Commission may specify. The Commission shall elect its Chairman for two years; he may be reelected. Candidates for the Chairmanship shall hold at least the rank of a high commanding officer. Each member of the Commission must have as his original nationality that of the Contracting State he represents.

5. In the event of war, the supreme command of the joint forces shall be entrusted to the Contracting State possessing the largest military force taking actual part in field operations, unless, by unanimous agreement, the Commander-in-Chief is selected otherwise. The Commander-in-Chief shall be assisted in directing military operations by a joint Staff.

Sources: League of Arab States