Southwest Asia

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██ Southwest Asia in most contexts. ██ Possible extensions.

Southwest Asia or Southwestern Asia (largely overlapping with the Middle East) is the southwestern portion of Asia. The term Western Asia is commonly used in writings about the archaeology and late prehistory of the region, and in the U.S. subregion geoschem. Unlike the Middle East, which is a vaguely-defined region generally meant to include the African country of Egypt, Western Asia is a purely geographical term that includes the southwestern extreme of Asia.

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 African and Asian countries, such as India, because of the perceived Eurocentrism of the historical term Middle East. In terms of cultural and political geography, the Middle East sometimes includes North African countries, particularly Egypt. For similar reasons, Afghanistan, Central Asia, and western-Pakistan are also variously affiliated with the region.

Image:United Nations geographical subregions.png
The definition of cultural-geographical regions in use by the United Nations.

The UN includes Turkey and the South Caucasus States (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia) in its Western Asian subregion, as they are almost entirely located there. However, these countries also lie in regions that straddle both Asia and Europe, and have sociopolitical ties to the latter. Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan are partially located in Europe whereas Armenia is located wholly in Asia. On the other hand, the UN assigns Iran and Egypt to Southern Asia and Northern Africa, respectively.

The Asian part of the Arab world (including Arabia proper) is called the Mashreq in Arabic.

See continent and transcontinental country for further definitions

[edit] Territories

Southwest Asia is in most contexts meant to encompass:

In addition, its limits are sometimes widened to include:

Anatolia, Arabia, Transcaucasia, Levant, and Mesopotamia are subregions of Southwest Asia.

[edit] Other subregions of Asia

[edit] See also

ar:جنوب غرب آسيا

zh-min-nan:Sai-lâm-a bs:Jugozapadna Azija bg:Югозападна Азия de:Vorderasien eo:Sud-Okcidenta Azio ko:서아시아 hr:Jugozapadna Azija id:Asia Barat Daya is:Suðvestur-Asía it:Asia occidentale ka:დასავლეთი აზია ms:Asia Barat nl:Zuidwest-Azië ja:西南アジア ro:Asia de Sud-Vest ru:Передняя Азия sk:Juhozápadná Ázia sh:Jugozapadna Azija fi:Etu-Aasia sv:Sydvästasien tl:Timog-kanlurang Asya th:เอเชียตะวันตกเฉียงใต้ uk:Передня Азія zh:西亚

Southwest Asia

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