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Volume :27 Issue : 1 1999      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

The Arab World and its Neighbors

Auther : Abdulkhaleq Abdulla

The Arab World is surrounded by 11 Asian and African countries that vary in size and geoploitical importance. Historically, their interaction has been less harmonious and peaceful than is widely believed. Conflict has been the rule, and peaceful coexistence and cooperation has been the exception in the Arab World’s relationship with its immediate neighbors such as Turkey, Iran, and Ethiopia. This paper deals with the current phase of the Arab World’s relationship with these countries, and with the other smaller neighboring countries in Africa. The author maintains that the current relationship is character-istically conflictive and full of tensions and suspicions. Turkey is currently the main concern of the Arab World. It has yet to stop its frequent military incursions into Northern Iraq, settle its dormant political and border disputes with Syria, and seriously reconsider its strategic cooperation with Israel. on the other hand, Iran, while steadily improving all aspects of its relations with the Arab World, has yet to end its 26-year occupation of Islands belonging to the United Arab Emirates. Finally, Ethiopia is still publicly committed to supporting Sudanese rebels and opposition forces determined to overthrow the government in Sudan. In view of these irritant issues, the author asserts that the Arab World’s relationship with its neighbors is not likely to improve in the near future.

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