Geography of Jordan

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Jordan is situated in Southwest Asia, northwest of Saudi Arabia. The territory of Jordan covers about 91,880 square kilometers. Until 1988, when King Hussein relinquished Jordan's claim to the West Bank, that area was considered part of Jordan, although officially recognized as such by only the United Kingdom and Pakistan. At that time the West Bank - which encompasses about 5,880 square kilometers - had been under Israeli occupation since the June 1967 War between Israel and the states of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.

Jordan is landlocked except at its southern extremity, where nearly twenty-six kilometers of shoreline along the Gulf of Aqaba provide access to the Red Sea. A great north-south geological rift, forming the depression of Lake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee), the Jordan Valley, and the Dead Sea, is the dominant topographical feature.

Geographic coordinates: 31°00′N 36°00′E / 31°N 36°E / 31; 36

Contents

Boundaries

Except for small sections of the borders with Israel and Syria, Jordan's international boundaries do not follow well-defined natural features of the terrain. The country's boundaries were established by various international agreements, and, with the exception of the border with Israel, none was in dispute in early 1989.

Jordan's boundaries with Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia do not have the special significance that the border with Israel does; these borders have not always hampered tribal nomads in their movements, yet for a few groups borders did separate them from traditional grazing areas and delimited by a series of agreements between the United Kingdom and the government of what eventually became Saudi Arabia) was first formally defined in the Hadda Agreement of 1925. In 1965 Jordan and Saudi Arabia concluded a bilateral agreement that realigned and delimited the boundary. The realignment resulted in some exchange of territory, and Jordan's coastline on the Gulf of Aqaba was lengthened by about eighteen kilometers. The new boundary enabled Jordan to expand its port facilities and established a zone in which the two parties agreed to share petroleum revenues equally if oil were discovered. The agreement also protected the pasturage and watering rights of nomadic tribes inside the exchanged territories.

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