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9. The Middle East

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Chapter Summary

The Middle East is the intercontinental region bounded by Europe, Asia and Africa. Dewdney (1987, 7-9) notes that there are two prime physiographic zones in the Middle East. Throughout the Middle East all states are disadvantaged when claims to maritime zones are considered. In terms of boundary evolution the northern and southern regions provide sharp contrasts. Iran and Turkey were sometimes at a disadvantage in negotiating their northern boundaries with Russia, but Iranian claims to the east, where Britain held sway, were not severely compromised. The principal powers that dominated boundary development in the southern Region were Britain, Saudi Arabia and France. In contrast Saudi Arabia, responsibly and occasionally generously, has established a chain of boundaries from Qatar to Yemen. In the future it seems that the most serious territorial disputes in the Middle East will centre on the internal divisions of Israel and its boundaries with Lebanon and Syria.

Keywords: Africa; Asia; boundary evolution; Europe; intercontinental region; physiographic zones; territorial disputes; The Middle East



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