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BellaOnline's Middle Eastern Culture Editor

Countries of the Middle East

The Middle East usually refers to that area of land sitting where Africa, Europe, and Asia meet. So is there a modern day "countries of the Middle East list?"

It can be confusing, because different news and education web sites will include different countries. Personal opinion and religious and political agendas often dictate what countries are included, although more and more the discovery and production of oil have also had an impact on the geographical discussion.

Additionally, even the term Middle East previously was interchangeable with the Near East. Now it is becoming synonymous with Western Asia or Southwest Asia, and some of the countries often included in the Middle East region, such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, are also often included with Central Asia. Finally, countries included in this list are not all part of the ancient countries of the Middle East.

However, the modern day list will often include most of the following:

Also, sometimes the former Soviet republics of Central Asia are included. These include: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

These countries can be organized geographically:

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