According to sources, the most powerful countries in the Arab world are to be offered enormous financial incentives to participate in a series of knock-out talks that would be held every two years in Qatar and neighbouring Gulf states.
Backed by the Qatar royal family, the self-styled ‘Dream Arab League’ (DAL) would – claim insiders – start the summer of 2015. It remains to be seen which, if any, nation states will signed up for the project, but DAL is reportedly prepared to offer major powers such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia an astonishing $200 million per two-year cycle in an attempt to gain support.
The plan is to have 16 of the region’s most influential countries as ‘permanent’ DAL members, with a further eight competing on an invitational basis. The sums involved are hoped to lead regional governments to make the DAL their top priority, even ahead of the normal Arab League and their own domestic affairs, with some of the most important economic and political decisions being first unveiled in Qatar.
This isn’t the first time that the idea for a Super Arab League has been floated, and there have been renewed discussions in recent years about the idea of creating a summit where the biggest names meet each other more than the present arrangements allow.
Speaking in 2009, Jordan’s then Prime Minister Samir Rifai said that it was time to push for “a new league that guarantees that the most powerful countries from the region always discuss with the most powerful, which does not happen in the Arab League due to participation from the likes of the Comoros Islands and Djibouti.”
While the Middle East governments contacted declined to respond, some privately expressed support for the current Arab League. But a source close to the project said that Qatar was determined to see the DAL materialise.
“They’ve already shown that, if they want something to happen, they will throw enough money at it to make it happen.”