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Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Israel and Syria

Geographic coordinates:

33 50 N, 35 50 E

Map references:

Middle East


total: 10,400 sq km
water: 170 sq km
land: 10,230 sq km

Area - comparative:

about 0.7 times the size of Connecticut

Land boundaries:

total: 454 km
border countries: Israel 79 km, Syria 375 km


225 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 NM


Mediterranean; mild to cool, wet winters with hot, dry summers; Lebanon mountains experience heavy winter snows


narrow coastal plain; El Beqaa (Bekaa Valley) separates Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Mountains

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Qurnat as Sawda' 3,088 m

Natural resources:

limestone, iron ore, salt, water-surplus state in a water-deficit region, arable land

Land use:

arable land: 17.6%
permanent crops: 12.51%
other: 69.89% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:

1,200 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:

dust storms, sandstorms

Environment - current issues:

deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; air pollution in Beirut from vehicular traffic and the burning of industrial wastes; pollution of coastal waters from raw sewage and oil spills

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note:

Nahr el Litani only major river in Near East not crossing an international boundary; rugged terrain historically helped isolate, protect, and develop numerous factional groups based on religion, clan, and ethnicity




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