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The Arab Union is a proposed concept of a 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, whom Britain was at war with. 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, North Yemen and Syria). 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 until the 2009 summit in Doha, when it was decided that it will be looked into and discussed.