The Middle East is usually defined as the countries surrounding the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea but the term is somewhat fluid. By the middle of the 20th century the following countries were usually considered to be in the Middle East: Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Three North African countries - Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco- are often spoken of as being part of the Middle East because of their close connection to the Arab states. Frequently statesman and others speak of Pakistan and Afghanistan as being part of the Middle East, as well.
The term "Middle East" continues to be unsettled but for the One Geographical Region program, we will consider all of the above countries to be part of the region.
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