Southwest AsiaThis article does not citeany references or sources. (January 2007)
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Southwest Asia or Southwestern Asia (largely overlapping with the Middle East) is the southwestern portion of Asia. The term Western Asia is sometimes used in writings about the archeology and the late prehistory of the region, and in the United Nations subregion geoscheme. Unlike the Middle East, which is broadly-defined defined to include several North African countries such as Egypt, Southwestern Asia is a purely geographical term that is reserved for the southwestern extremities of the Asian continent.
Southwest Asia is partly coterminous with the traditional European names the Middle East and the Near East, both of which describe the regions' geographical position in relation to Europe rather than their location within Asia. The term Western Asia has become the preferred term of use for the Middle East by international organizations (most notably the United Nations) and also in countries to the east of the region, such as India and Australia, because of the perceived Eurocentrism of the historical term Middle East. In terms of cultural and political geography, the Middle East often includes North African countries, particularly Egypt.
The United Nations includes Turkey and Armenia in Southwest Asia. However, these countries also lie in regions that straddle both Asia and Europe, and have sociopolitical ties to the latter. Turkey is located in both Europe and Asia. The Asian part of the Arab world (including Arabia proper) is called the Mashreq in Arabic.
- Main article: List of Middle Eastern countries
Some of the countries classified as southwest Asian are sometimes classified differently. Afghanistan and Pakistan, for example, are sometimes considered Central Asian countries, and sometimes as South Asian countries. Cyprus meanwhile politically aligns itself with Europe, and is generally considered a part of Southeastern Europe despite its geographic location. Southwest Asia is in most contexts meant to encompass:
- Palestinian Territories (Gaza Strip and West Bank)
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
- The Asian portion of
- The Asian portion of
Use in ethnicity statistics
Other subregions of Asia
- East Asia
- Southeast Asia
- South Asia (Indian subcontinent)
- Central Asia
- North Asia (Siberia)
- Northern Eurasia (extends into Europe)
- Central Eurasia (extends into Europe)
- ^ United Nations Cartographic Section
- ^ Ethnic Groups in Canada - MSN Encarta
- ^ Asia - MSN Encarta
- ^ http://www.statcan.ca/english/research/89-621-XIE/89-621-XIE2007003.pdf
- ^ http://www.google.com/search?q=west+asian+site%3Astatcan.ca