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The term "Middle East" is commonly used to refer to the area incorporating Israel and surrounding Arab states. It includes the countries that share borders with Israel - Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebabon - and countries such as the Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Iran is not Arab or Arabic speaking, but is now included in discussion in this area, as in the last 30 years is has had a significant impact on the politics of the region.

Scott-Baumann, M. (2009), Crisis in the Middle East: Israel and the Arab States 1945-2007, Hodder Education, London, p.1