CAIRO, April 5 (UPI) -- Several Arab states reportedly are considering candidates to head the Arab League, breaking with the tradition of choosing the head from the host country.
Abdel Rahman al-Attiyyah, the former head of the Gulf Cooperation Council, was touted as Qatar's nominee to take over from Egyptian Amr Moussa, the current secretary general who plans to step down May 15, the Middle East News Agency said.
Moussa plans to run in the Egyptian presidential election, Ahram Online said.
A Qatari diplomat told Ahram Online authorities are still contemplating the nomination and "have not made a final decision."
Last month the Middle East Media Research Institute said George Jabour a former adviser to the late Syrian President Hafez Assad is actively seeking the post.
The Middle East Reporter said Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki proposed Iyad Allawi, the leader of the Iraqiya Party, to head the 22-member organization.
Egypt also is contemplating candidates to replace Moussa and a diplomat told Ahram Online "at least one" name would be offered in advance of the scheduled May 11 Arab summit in Baghdad.
The post has been held by Egyptians for most of its history with the exception 1979-90 when the headquarters moved to Tunis and a Tunisian took control. The headquarters was moved back to Cairo in 1989 when Egypt was readmitted to the group.
"The de facto and not de jure practice is that the secretary-general comes from the country of the headquarters, and we are determined to keep this practice," an Egyptian diplomat asked to comment on the Qatari nominee told Ahram Online.
The Arab League was formed in Cairo in 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan (later renamed Jordan), Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Syria. Yemen joined a few months later.
The body currently has 22 members and four observers. Its main goal is to promote relations in the Arab world, and safeguard the independence and sovereignty of member states.