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NewsLetter Register
    • YEMEN
    • EN Background: North Yemen became independent of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The British, who had set up a protectorate area around the southern port of Aden in the 19th century, withdrew in 1967 from what becameSouth ...
    • UZBEKISTAN
    • TAN Background: Russia conquered Uzbekistan in the late 19th century. Stiff resistance to the Red Army after World War I was eventually suppressed and a socialist republic set up in 1924. During the Soviet era, inte...
    • UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
    • TES Background: The Trucial States of thePersian Gulf coast granted the UK control of their defense and foreign affairs in 19th century treaties. In 1971, six of these states - Abu Zaby, 'Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Ash Sh...
    • TURKMENISTAN
    • TAN Annexed byRussia between 1865 and 1885, Turkmenistan became a Soviet republic in 1925. It achieved its independence upon the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. President NIYAZOV retains absolute control over the cou...
    • TURKEY
    • KEY Background: Present-day Turkey was created in 1923 from the Turkish remnants of theOttoman Empire. Soon thereafter, the country instituted secular laws to replace traditional religious fiats. In 1945Turkey joined...
    • TUNISIA
    • SIA Following independence fromFrance in 1956, President Habib BOURGUIBA established a strict one-party state. He dominated the country for 31 years, repressing Islamic fundamentalism and establishing rights for wome...
    • TAJIKISTAN
    • TAN Tajikistan has experienced three changes in government and a five-year civil war since it gained independence in 1991 from theUSSR. A peace agreement among rival factions was signed in 1997, and implemented in 2000. ...
    • SYRIA
    • RIA Following the breakup of theOttoman Empire duringWorld War I, Syria was administered by the French until independence in 1946. In the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Syria lost the Golan Heights to Israel. Since 1976, Syr...
    • SUDAN
    • Military regimes favoring Islamic-oriented governments have dominated national politics since independence from the UK in 1956. Sudan has been embroiled in a civil war for all but 10 years of this period (1972-82)....
    • SIERRA LEONE
    • ONE Since 1991, civil war between the government and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the displacement of more than 2 million people (well over one-third of the po...
    • SENEGAL
    • GAL Independent from France in 1960, Senegal joined with The Gambia to form the nominal confederation ofSenegambia in 1982. However, the envisaged integration of the two countries was never carried out, and the unio...
    • SAUDI ARABIA
    • BIA  In 1902, ABD AL-AZIZ bin Abd al-Rahman Al Saud captured Riyadh and set out on a 30-year campaign to unify the Arabian Peninsula. In the 1930s, the discovery of oil transformed the country. Following Iraq's inv...
    • QATAR
    • TAR  Ruled by the Al Thani family since the mid-1800s,Qatar transformed itself from a poor British protectorate noted mainly for pearling into an independent state with significant oil and natural gas revenues. Du...
    • PAKISTAN
    • The separation in 1947 of British India into the Muslim state of Pakistan (with two sections west and east) and largely Hindu India was never satisfactorily resolved. A third war between these countries in 1971 resulted...
    • OMAN
    • MAN In 1970, QABOOS bin Said Al Said ousted his father and has ruled as sultan ever since. His extensive modernization program has opened the country to the outside world and has preserved a long-standing political a...
    • NIGER
    • GER Not until 1993, 35 years after independence from France, did Niger hold its first free and open elections. A 1995 peace accord ended a five-year Tuareg insurgency in the north. Coups in 1996 and 1999 were followed by...
    • MOROCCO
    • CCO Morocco's long struggle for independence fromFrance ended in 1956. The internationalized city ofTangier was turned over to the new country that same year.Morocco virtually annexed Western Sahara during the late 19...
    • MAURITANIA
    • NIA Independent fromFrance in 1960, Mauritania annexed the southern third of the formerSpanish Sahara (nowWestern Sahara) in 1976, but relinquished it after three years of raids by the Polisario guerrilla front seeking i...
    • MAYOTTE
    • OTTE    Mayotte was ceded to France along with the other islands of the Comoros group in 1843. It was the only island in the archipelago that voted in 1974 to retain its link with France and forego independence...
    • MALI
    • r="#9391a2">MALI The Sudanese Republic and Senegal became independent of France in 1960 as the Mali Federation. WhenSenegal withdrew after only a few months, theSudaneseRepublic was renamed Mali. Rule by dictatorship w...
    • Cocos Islands
    • ands Background There are 27 coral islands in the group. Captain William Keeling discovered the islands in 1609, but they remained uninhabited until the 19th century. Annexed by the UK in 1857, they ...
    • Bangladesh
    • desh Location and Geography Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India n xstyle="color: black"> (Most of the country is situated on deltas of large rivers flowi...
    • Iraq
    • IRAQ Formerly part of theOttoman Empire, Iraq became an independent kingdom in 1932. A "republic" was proclaimed in 1958, but in actuality a series of military strongmen have ruled the country since then, t...
    • Indonesia
    • SIA The world's largest archipelago, Indonesia achieved independence from the Netherlands in 1949. Current issues include: alleviating widespread poverty, implementing IMF-mandated reforms of the banking sector, e...
    • Guinea
    • NEA Independent fromFrance since 1958, Guinea did not hold democratic elections until 1993 when Gen. Lansana CONTE (head of the military government) was elected president of the civilian government. He was reelect...
    • Gambia
    • MBIA  TheGambia gained its independence from the UK in 1965; it formed a short-lived federation of Senegambia with Senegal between 1982 and 1989. In 1991 the two nations signed a friendship and cooperation t...
    • ERITREA
    • TREA Eritrea was awarded to Ethiopia in 1952 as part of a federation. Ethiopia's annexation of Eritrea as a province 10 years later sparked a 30-year struggle for independence that ended in 1991 with Eritrean reb...
    • Egypt
    • GYPT The regularity and richness of the annualNileRiver flood, coupled with semi-isolation provided by deserts to the east and west, allowed for the development of one of the world's great civilizations. A unifie...
    • DJIBOUTI
    • OUTI The French Territory of the Afars and the Issas became Djibouti in 1977. A peace accord in 1994 ended a three-year uprising by Afars rebels. Geography Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the ...
    • Chad
    • CHAD The Republic of Chad is the largest country of former French Equatorial Africa. Chad is a landlocked country with one of the world’s lowest population densities. It is situated in the heart of Africa and has...
    • BURKINA FASO
    • ASO LOCATION & GEOGRAPHY Location: Western Africa, north of Ghana Burkina Faso, formerly Upper Volta, is a landlocked West African State which lies between the Sahara Desert and the Gulf of Gui...
    • Brunei
    • runei Background The Sultanate of Brunei's heyday occurred between the 15th and 17th centuries, when its control extended over coastal areas of northwest Borneo and the southern Philippines. Brunei subsequently...
    • Bosnia and Herzegovina
    • ovina Background Bosnia and Herzegovina's declaration of sovereignty in October 1991, was followed by a declaration of independence from the former Yugoslavia on 3 March 1992 after a referendum boycotted by e...
    • BAHRAIN
    • RAIN Background Bahrain's small size and central location among Persian Gulf countries require it to play a delicate balancing act in foreign affairs among its larger neighbors. Possessing minimal oil reserve...
    • Azerbaijan
    • jan BACKGROUND Azerbaijan - a nation of Turkic Muslims - has been an independent republic since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Despite a 1`994 cease-fire, Azerbaijan has yet to resolve its conflict ...
    • Algeria
    • ia COUNTRY PROFILE Country Formal Name: Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria. Short Name: Algeria. Term for Nationals: Algerian(s). Capital: Algiers. Date of Independence: July 5, 1962, from France...
    • Republic of Albania
    • nia Geography Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, between Greece and Serbia and Montenegro. Geographic coordinates: 41 00 N, 20 00 E Map references: Europe Are...
    • Afghanistan
    • tan National name: Dowlat-e Eslami-ye Afghanestan President: Hamid Karzai (2002) Area: 250,000 sq mi (647,500 sq km) Population (2002 est.): 27,755,775 (growth rate: 2.4%); birth rate: 41.0/1000; infant mo...