bản đồ of the Middle East. Middle East includes 18 countries. These are Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Sometimes, the definition of Middle East is extended khổng lồ include the concept of the "Greater Middle East" that includes Afghanistan, the Comoros, Djibouti, Maghreb, Pakistan, Sudan, và Somalia. Middle East includes countries that nội dung common factors like ethnic groups, geographic features, religious beliefs, and political history.
A transcontinental region including parts of Eurasia và Africa, the Middle East includes countries that chia sẻ common factors like ethnic groups, geographic features, religious beliefs, và political history. The region includes 18 countries. These are Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates và Yemen. These countries are located primarily in Western Asia, Egypt is in North Africa, & a part of Turkey lies in Southeast Europe.

Sometimes, the definition of Middle East is extended khổng lồ include the concept of the "Greater Middle East" that includes Afghanistan, the Comoros, Djibouti, Maghreb, Pakistan, Sudan, và Somalia. Even further, countries in Central Asia & Transcaucasia might be integrated into the group of Middle East countries.

In this article, however, we will highlight the 18 countries that are unambiguously part of the Middle East.

What Makes Middle East?

As mentioned above, the countries of the region share several features in common. For example, the Middle East region has Arabs as the largest ethnic group. Iranian peoples & Turkic speaking peoples are the next two common ethnic groups. Islam is the largest religion in the region. In fact, the region is the birthplace of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. As expected, Arabic is the most spoken language here. Other popular languages include Persian, Kurdish, Hebrew, and Turkish.


Area: 760 km2Population: 1,641,170Capital: Manama
Bahrain is an archipeladinnerbylany.com nation, located in the Persian Gulf between Saudi Arabia & the peninsula of Qatar. It covers an area of 760 km2 and has a population form size of just over 1.64 million. Nearly half of Bahrain"s population is foreign nationals. The 2011 Index of Economic Freedom designated the country as having the most independent economy in the Middle East. Before that, Bahrain was recognized for its banking và financial services sector, which are the fastest-growing in the world.


Area: 9,251 km2Population: 1,198,580Capital: Nicosia
Cyprus is another island nation located in the Mediterranean Sea between Turkey và Egypt. The country covers an area of 9,251 km2 and has a population kích cỡ of approximately 1.19 million. In 1961, Cyprus became a member of the Commonwealth of Nations after gaining its independence from Great Britain, & in 2004 it was accepted as a member of the European Union. Cyprus is a hub for foreign businesses due khổng lồ its tax rates, which are below the European Union average. The country"s economy relies on tourism, shipping services, and banking & financial services.


Area: 1,010,40 km2Population: 100,388,070Capital: Cairo
Egypt located in the northeastern region of Africa, where it has borders along the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, and the Gulf of Aqaba. Its territory also encompasses the Sinai Peninsula, which shares borders with Israel và Palestine. It is this peninsula that connects Egypt to lớn the Middle East, making it a transcontinental country. Egypt covers a total area of 1,010,40 km2 và has a population kích cỡ of over 100 million. Crude petroleum oil makes up nearly 25% of its exports. The rest of the economy relies on agriculture, tourism, & natural gas.


Area: 1,648,195 km2Population: 82,913,910Capital: Tehran
Iran has coastlines along the Persian Gulf, the Caspian Sea, & the Gulf of Oman. It covers an area of 1,648,195 km2 and has a population kích thước of approximately 83 million. Iran is home to the largest supply of natural gas in the world và the fourth-largest supply of oil reserves. The country is a thành viên of both OPEC and the United Nations, as well as several other international organizations. The economy và gross domestic product (GDP) of Iran rely on the services sector.


credit: rasoulali / Shutterstock.com Area: 438,317 km2Population: 39,309,780Capital: Baghdad
Iraq is almost entirely landlocked, except for a 36-mile long area located along the Persian Gulf. The country covers an area of 438,317 km2 và has a total population of 39 million. Iraq"s economy has an unemployment rate that averages between 18% và 30%, and a GDP per capita of only $4,000. The majority of employment opportunities (roughly 60%) are in the public sector. The oil industry of Iraq makes up about 95% of its foreign exchange revenue.


Area: 20,770 km2Population: 9,053,300Capital: Jerusalem
Israel has coastlines along both the Red và the Mediterranean Seas & shares borders with several countries, including Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, & the Gaza Strip. It covers an area of 20,770 km2 & has a population size of approximately 9 million. The majority of the population of Israel (around 74.7%) identify as Jewish. The country was created as a homeland for people of Jewish ethnicity và religion, & accordingly, it is often known as the Jewish State. Israel"s economy is based on the technology and industrial sectors and is considered the most advanced in the Middle East.


Area: 92,300 km2Population: 10,101,690Capital: Amman
Jordan is located between the continents of Europe, Africa, & Asia, và has coastlines along both the Dead và Red Seas. It covers an area of 92,300 km2 and has a population form size of over 10 million. The vast majority (92%) of the population identify as Sunni Muslims. The country is known as a safe haven for refugees in the area fleeing their homes due to terrorism & political instability. Jordan is considered one of the most politically stable countries in the Middle East.


Area: 17,820 km2Population: 4,207,080Capital: Kuwait thành phố
Kuwait is at the northernmost edge of the Persian Gulf, where it covers an area of17,820 km2. The population of this country is just over 4.2 million, & approximately 70% of these individuals are foreign nationals. This high percentage of foreigners is primarily due to lớn Kuwait"s petroleum industry, which attracts a number of foreign workers. At least 87% of the country"s exports are petroleum-based. The sector makes up around 1/2 of Kuwait"s GDP.


Area: 10,400 km2Population: 6,855,710Capital: Beirut
Lebanon is one of the smallest, non-island countries in the Middle East, covering an area of 10,400 km2. It has a population kích cỡ of just over 6.8 million, which is recognized for its diverse cultural and ethnic background. Lebanon"s economy was able to resist the global economic crisis of 2008, managing lớn grow at a rate of 8.5% in 2008 & 9% in 2009. The services sector makes up the largest part of the country"s economy và employs approximately 65% of the population.


Area: 309,500 km2Population: 4,974,990Capital: Muscat
Oman is located along the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, giving it a long coastline along the Arabian Sea. The country covers an area of 309,500 km2 & has a population kích cỡ of around 4.97 million. Its dinnerbylany.comvernment is considered an absolute monarchy & all dinnerbylany.comvernment responsibilities carried out by the Sultan, which a hereditary position. The economy of Oman depends on the oil and petroleum industry, particularly as its largest export contributor. However, the tourism industry in Oman is growing rapidly.


Area: 6,020 km2Population: 4,685,310Capital: Ramallah1
Palestine shares borders with both Israel & Jordan và the country claims ownership of the Gaza Strip and West bank regions. Palestine covers an area of 6,020 km2 và has a population size of 4.68 million. The nation has engaged in the decades-long conflict with Israel over Israeli-occupied lands, which were ruled by the Israeli Military dinnerbylany.comvernorate from 1967 until 1982. The services industry in Palestine makes up 82% of the country"s $10 Billion GDP.


Area: 11,586 km2Population: 2,832,070Capital: Doha
Qatar is along the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, where it covers an area of 11,586 km2. This country has a population kích thước of over 2.83 million, 2.3 million of which are foreign nationals. This large percentage of foreign-born residents is due to lớn the natural gas và oil industries, which draw a significant number of immigrant workers every year.

 Saudi Arabia

Area: 2,149,690 km2Population: 34,268,530Capital: Riyadh
Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Middle East & covers an area of 2,149,690 km2. It has a population form size of approximately 34 million, 90% of which identify as Arabs. The country"s population had grown significantly since 1950, when it was only around 3 million, due lớn a faster-than-average birth rate. The majority of individuals in Saudi Arabia speak 1 of 3 Arabic dialects: Najdi, Hejazi, and Gulf.


Area: 187,437 km2Population: 17,070,130Capital: Damascus
Syria is located in the western region of the Middle East & covers an area of 187,437 km2. The country"s population is estimated at approximately 17 million, although that number may be inaccurate given the inability khổng lồ perform an accurate census in recent years. The population represents a decrease over previous years, given a large number of people who have been killed or fled the country due khổng lồ civil war, military violence, và political instability. At least 5 million individuals have sought refuge in other countries, while another 7.6 million are internally displaced.


Zaidi / Shutterstock.com Area: 783,562 km2Population: 83,429,620Capital: Ankara Turkey is located between Europe and Asia & is considered a transcontinental country. It covers an area of 783,562 km2 & has a population kích cỡ of around 83.4 million. Between 70% và 80% of this population identifies as ethnic Turks. Turkey is newly industrialized and has a GDP of $2.199 trillion, over half of which is generated by the services industry.

 United Arab Emirates

Area: 83,600 km2Population: 9,770,530Capital: Abu Dhabi The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is along the southeastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula. It covers an area of 83,600 km2 & has a population size of approximately 9.7 million. This country has one of the largest economies in the Middle East, with a GDP of around $377 billion. Lượt thích most economies in this region of the world, the UAE depends heavily on the oil industry.


Area: 527,968 km2Population: 29,161,920Capital: Sana"a Yemen is along the southwestern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, where it covers a total area of 527,968 km2. The country has a population kích thước of over 29 million, nearly half of which is 15 years of age or younger. Because of these demographics, as well as various other factors, Yemen"s population is expected lớn reach 60 million by 2050. The economy of Yemen, lượt thích many other middle eastern countries, focuses on the petroleum industry, which also makes up 73% of its exports.

List of Middle Eastern Countries

Country, with flag
Area (km²)Population mật độ trùng lặp từ khóa (per km²)Capital
Nominal GDP (2012)Per capita (2012)Currency
1 Bahrain7601,641,1702012.1Manama$30.355 billion$26,368Bahraini dinarAbsolute monarchyArabic
2 Cyprus9,2511,198,580128.71Nicosia$22.995 billion$26,377EuroPresidential republicGreek,Turkish
3 Egypt1,001,450100,388,07098.87Cairo$262.26 billion$3,179Egyptian poundPresidential republicEgyptian Arabic
4 Iran1,648,19582,913,91050.22Tehran$548.59 billion$7,207Iranian rialIslamic republicPersian
5 Iraq438,31739,309,78088.53Baghdad$216.04 billion$6,410Iraqi dinarParliamentary republicArabic,Kurdish
6 Israel21,9379,053,300410.48Jerusalem$257.62 billion$33,451Israeli shekelParliamentary republicHebrew,Arabic
7 Jordan89,34210,101,690112.14Amman$30.98 billion$4,843Jordanian dinarConstitutional monarchyArabic
8 Kuwait17,8184,207,080232.17Kuwait City$184.54 billion$48,761Kuwaiti dinarConstitutional monarchyArabic
9 Lebanon10,4006,855,710669.49Beirut$42.519 billion$10,425Lebanese poundParliamentary republicArabic
10 Oman309,5004,974,99015.6Muscat$78.290 billion$25,356Omani rialAbsolute monarchyArabic
11 Palestine6,0204,685,310759Ramallah1$6.6 billion$1,600Israeli shekel,Jordanian dinarSemi-presidential republicArabic
12 Qatar11,5862,832,070242.10Doha$192.40 billion$104,756Qatari riyalAbsolute monarchyArabic
13 Saudi Arabia2,149,69034,268,53015.68Riyadh$733.95 billion$25,139Saudi riyalAbsolute monarchyArabic
14 Syria187,43717,070,13092.07Damascusn/an/aSyrian poundPresidential republicArabic
15 Turkey783,56283,429,620106.96Ankara$788.04 billion$10,523Turkish liraParliamentary republicTurkish
16 United Arab Emirates83,6009,770,530135.61Abu Dhabi$383.79 billion$43,774UAE dirhamFederal Absolute monarchyArabic
17 Yemen527,96829,161,92053.98Sana"a$35.05 billion$1,354Yemeni rialPresidential republicArabic

Top>Foreign Policy>Diplomatic Bluebook>Diplomatic Bluebook 2017>Chapter 2 Japan"s Foreign Policy that Takes a Panoramic Perspective of the World Map>Section 6 The Middle East and North Africa>6.Countries in the Middle East and North Africa

6.Countries in the Middle East and North Africa

(1) Turkey

Turkey is a geopolitically important large country in the region located at the crossroads to Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, và Caucasia. As a member state of NATO, the dinnerbylany.comvernment of Turkey basically attaches importance khổng lồ Europe và U.S. In its diplomacy, including efforts to join EU, while proactively promoting multiple diplomacies with states covering Asia and Africa. Turkey is historically a pro-Japanese country typified by episodes such as the visit of Ottoman Empire"s Ertugrul Frigate to nhật bản and the subsequent disaster in 1890 and Turkey"s 1985 rescue of Japanese nationals living in Tehran.

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The coup d"état attempted by factions within the Turkish army on July 15 ended in failure on July 16, và the Turkish dinnerbylany.comvernment declared a state of emergency claiming that Fethullah Gulen, the leader of an Islamist movement in Turkey who is currently living in exile in the U.S., was behind the incident. Dismissals and monitoring of persons in the army, security authorities và public servants, who are mainly said khổng lồ have connections to Gulen continue.

On the diplomatic front, the relations between Turkey & Syria have deteriorated under the Assad Administration and its ondinnerbylany.coming civil war, and Turkey is faced with being the world"s largest recipient of refugees totaling about three million. The tensions with Western countries and neighboring countries are growing with the fight against ISIL và response to lớn the refugee issue. However, an agreement was reached in June khổng lồ normalize relations with Israel, which had deteriorated with Israel following the conflict between the Israel army & a flotilla of ships transporting aid to lớn the Gaza Strip in May 2010. Furthermore, there has been progress in strategic diplomacy since June such as an initiative to lớn normalize relations with Russia, which had deteriorated following the downing of a Russian fighter jet in November 2015.

Japan-Turkey Summit Meeting (September 21, New York, U.S., Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

In respect to lớn the relationship with Japan, Prime Minister Abe met with President Erdogan in thủ đô new york in September and held their sixth summit, confirming the high trust between the two leaders và stronger bilateral relations.

(2) Jordan & Lebanon

The situation in Jordan remains comparatively stable in the constantly turbulent Middle East region. Jordan has played an important role in the peace & stability of the region, such as with countermeasures against extremists, its acceptance of a number of Syrian refugees, và active involvement in the Middle East peace process. The country"s role is highly appreciated by the international community.

Japan-Jordan Summit Meeting (October 27, Tokyo). (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

Apart from a leaders" meeting at the April Nuclear Security Summit, there have been frequent coming & dinnerbylany.comings of the Prime Minister and ministers in 2016, such as the King Abdullah II"s visit to nhật bản in October, & the traditionally friendly bilateral relations have deepened even further. At each meeting, the leaders shared the view of cooperating for further development of the bilateral relations in a wide range of areas và stabilization of the Middle East region.

Japan also attaches importance khổng lồ Jordan, which serves as a cornerstone for the stability of the region. The dinnerbylany.comvernment of japan has been providing assistance for the stability of Jordan through tư vấn for refugees và host communities, as well as for developing the industrial base. In 2016, japan provided support such as a “Financial Sector, Business Environment & Public Service Reform Development Policy Loan” (30 billion yen), as well as grant aid (one billion yen).

Lebanon is a mosaic nation consisting of 18 religions và religious sects, including Christianity & Islam. Due lớn the confrontation between each sect và political force surrounding a successor to President Suleiman, who stepped down in May 2014, the position of President had remained vacant for about two và a half years, but former leader of the free Patriotic Movement Aoun was finally elected President in October 2016. Consequently, the Hariri Cabinet was formed in December, with initiatives being promoted to lớn stabilize domestic affairs. The future focus of domestic affairs is the parliamentary elections scheduled for May 2017, which have been previously postponed twice.

Lebanon is facing serious problems such as the deteriorating situation in Syria & the expansion of ISIL. Stability in Lebanon is the key to the stability and prosperity of the Middle East. Nhật bản has provided Lebanon with humanitarian aid totaling more than 120 million US dollars for assistance to lớn Syrian refugees & the host communities.

(3) Egypt

Located at the north-eastern edge of the African continent và facing Europe on the other side of the Mediterranean, Egypt is a major country which plays an important role in the stability of the Middle East and North Africa.

Egypt swore in a new parliament (House of Representatives) in January 2016, completing the “roadmap” which had been developed after the political turmoil in 2013. The El-Sisi Administration is taking initiatives in security policies và economic reforms on the Sinai Peninsula etc., for Egypt"s long-term stability & development, while being a non-permanent thành viên of the UN Security Council for two years from 2016.

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Japan-Egypt Summit Meeting (February 29, Tokyo Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

Japan-Egypt relations are fairly dinnerbylany.comod and high-level exchanges are also active. President El-Sisi visited japan in February & during this visit, three documents (in the areas of education, energy, và health) which include the Japan-Egypt Joint Statement and the Egypt-Japan Education Partnership (EJEP) were released. Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Takisawa visited Egypt in August, followed by State Minister for Foreign Affairs Sonoura in September. Furthermore, the two leaders of japan and Egypt held a meeting at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou (China) in September.

(4) Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco

The Maghreb is at the crossroads to Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, & has shared history, culture, và language in common. Recently it has attracted attention because of a potential as a region. On the other hand, many people move from the region across Iraq & Syria as foreign fighters, and there is also the trend in Libya, so the stability of the security situation is an important issue.

Libya has fallen into a situation of serious conflict among several groups rooted in tribes và has experienced security deterioration. A national unity dinnerbylany.comvernment of three factions exists based on the political agreement that was brokered by the UN, as well as the west (Tripoli) & east (Tobruk) factions. The national unity dinnerbylany.comvernment entered the capital in March, but it has still not been recognized by the parliament established by the east faction. The militia which supports the dinnerbylany.comvernment took control of major ISIL bases in December, but other extremist organizations are very active and the security situation remains unstable. It is expected that the national unity dinnerbylany.comvernment will achieve legal legitimacy with dinnerbylany.comvernment recognition of the parliament lớn achieve stability of the country & the neighboring region.

Tunisia, which has achieved a transition lớn democracy, is facing the issues of economic reform such as eliminating the economic disparity between regions. The security situation has been calm since the attack on security forces in the region near the Libyan border in March, but the Libyan situation also has an influence & ensuring security remains an important issue.

Algeria and Morocco continue to lớn have stable dinnerbylany.comvernments. The two countries make efforts khổng lồ contribute khổng lồ peace và stability in the region by mediating the domestic confrontations in Libya & Mali. In addition, Morocco was approved khổng lồ rejoin the African Union in January. Close attention is being paid to future trends such as the unification of Maghreb.

(5) Gulf Countries (including Yemen)ASix Gulf countries (the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, & Bahrain)

The Gulf countries as stabilizing forces of the region are important partners for nhật bản in areas such as energy security. There were frequent high-level visits including the visit of the Prime Minister of Kuwait, H.H. Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah in May and Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, H.R.H Prince Mohammad bin Salman in September.

Prime Minister Abe & Prime Minister of Kuwait, H.H. Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, shake hands at the Japan-Kuwait Summit Meeting (May 12, Tokyo, Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
Prime Minister Abe meets with Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, H.R.H Prince Mohammad bin Salman (September 1, Tokyo, Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

Amid considerable challenges in the Middle East region, Saudi Arabia và several Arab states cut diplomatic ties with Iran in 2016, and Yemen peace talks stalled with the increasing number of civilian casualties.

The Gulf states need to nhận xét their fiscal policy following a decline in their annual revenue due khổng lồ low oil prices since summer 2014. They consider social & economic infrastructure development, industrial diversification, and human resource development as important issues with a view to lớn the long-term dinnerbylany.comal of breaking dependence on oil và developing the private sector. In April 2016, “Saudi Vision 2030” was announced with a basic strategy to lớn move away from its dependency on oil và to achieve its comprehensive development. Japan engages in improving the mutual business & investment environment by concluding various agreements with the Gulf states while continuing to strengthen the “Comprehensive Partnerships” in a wide range of fields beyond energy.


Fighting between the dinnerbylany.comvernment forces supported by the Arab coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia & the anti-dinnerbylany.comvernment forces such as Houthi insurgents has continued in Yemen since 2015. Following a cease-fire in April 2016, peace talks resumed in Kuwait, but ended without reaching any agreement. The fighting has subsequently intensified. Currently, the UN và relevant parties such as the U.S., the UK, và Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries continue mediation effors for peace.

The humanitarian situation is extremely serious due lớn the protracted conflict and aggravated combat. Consequently, the dinnerbylany.comvernment of nhật bản has provided assistance to lớn overcome the humanitarian crisis in Yemen through efforts such as announcing new food assistance at the Meeting on the Humanitarian Situation in Yemen at the UN General Assembly in September, which is highly appreciated by the dinnerbylany.comvernment of Yemen và the international community.