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Wednesday, 19 September, 2001, 16:25 GMT 17:25 UK
Middle East: Building the coalition
Turkey Lebanon Iraq Kuwait Saudi Arabia Jordan Egypt Libya Palestinians Oman Bahrain Israel Sudan UAE Oman Iran Yemen Syria
Libya Turkey Bahrain
Egypt Syria UAE
Sudan Iraq Oman
Palestinians Jordan Yemen
Israel Kuwait Iran
Lebanon Saudi Arabia
Throughout the region many leaders condemned the attacks on the US and have pledged varying degrees of support to the anti-terrorism coalition that Washington is building. However, for several Middle Eastern states the issues raised by the attacks pose difficult questions.

Click on the map to find out more about each country.

LIBYA: Colonel Gaddafi will not support the coalition, but believes the US has the right to take military action. Libya is seeking to improve its image in the hope of being removed from America's list of states supporting terrorism.

EGYPT: As the most populous Arab nation, Egypt is vital to winning the support of the rest of the Arab world. It is co-operating with US investigation into the attacks but has urged Washington not to jump to conclusions.

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SUDAN: A Sudanese pharmaceutical factory was bombed by US forces in 1998 because of now discredited allegations that it was linked to Bin Laden. However Khartoum, which controls the north of the war-torn country, has recently sought to have itself removed from the US State Department's list of states supporting terrorism.

PALESTINIANS: Yasser Arafat has called on Arab states to declare readiness to join a coalition. Some Palestinians were filmed celebrating the attack on Israel's biggest supporter, but their leader gave blood for US victims and has condemned the attacks in the strongest terms. American pressure on Israel and the Palestinians to reduce the violence in the region - making it easier for the US to bring Arab and Muslim states into its coalition - have produced some significant breakthroughs.

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ISRAEL: It has pledged full support for the US and for the coalition it is building. Many Israelis commented that they were the constant targets of terrorist attacks, albeit at a lower level. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon upset the US when he compared Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to Osama Bin Laden. American pressure on Israel and the Palestinians to reduce the violence in the region - making it easier for the US to bring Arab and Muslim states into its coalition - have produced some significant breakthroughs.

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LEBANON: Lebanese political figures have condemned the attacks on New York and Washington. Even the Lebanese Shia leader, Sheikh Mohammed Fadlallah, said that he was horrified by the attacks, but he issued a fatwa forbidding Muslims from aiding the US in any war against other Muslims. In terms of joining the US coalition, there may be some difficulties for Beirut if Washington insists that its "war on terrorism" includes Lebanese groups such as Hezbollah.

TURKEY: Ankara is a strong supporter of a global anti-terrorism campaign. Turkey's position on the borders of Iran and Iraq make it a key Nato ally.

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SYRIA: The government has condemned the attacks and expressed support for the United States. However, Damascus traditionally criticises US backing for Israel.

IRAQ: Iraq has condemned the terrorist attacks on the US, though some official newspapers have argued that America has brought the attacks on itself, and that the attacks were not carried out by Arabs, but by American dissidents. Baghdad has offered no support to the international coalition against terrorism and criticised US plans to target Afghanistan. Iraq has been mentioned by some US officials as a possible target of military retaliation, though Washington appears to have pulled back from this.

JORDAN: Amman has vowed to be at the forefront of countries ready to join an anti-terrorism coalition. However, it says the unresolved conflict between Israel and the Palestinians must also be addressed. The country's largest opposition party has issued an edict banning any Muslim participation in an American-led coalition against international terrorism.

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KUWAIT: Freed from Iraqi occupation by a U.S.-led coalition in 1991, Kuwait has offered its whole-hearted support. Defence Minister Sheikh Jaber al-Hamad al-Sabah said: "If they ask us for help we will never hesitate."

SAUDI ARABIA: The largest single oil producer condemned the attacks. Riyadh has now terminated diplomatic relations with the Taleban regime. Reports say Saudi Arabia is willing to allow US access to its airspace and may allow a US command centre near Riyadh to be used in any war effort. However, Saudi leaders appear to have blocked the possibility of US forces launching attacks against Afghanistan from the country.

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BAHRAIN: The government has pledged its support. The country hosts the US Fifth Fleet, which patrols the Gulf.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: The UAE has dropped its recognition of the Taleban and says it would help "eradicate terrorism in all its forms". It is investigating reports that the hijackers had UAE links. It stressed that success in the fight against terrorism hinges on a fair solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

OMAN: The sultanate has not committed troops to military action in Afghanistan, but British troops are holding military exercises there.

YEMEN: The country says it will support a "global alliance".

IRAN: Iranian leaders from reformists to conservatives have condemned the attacks on their long-time enemy, and called for "effective measures" against terrorism. Iran supports the anti-Taleban northern alliance in Afghanistan. It remained neutral in the Gulf War, and many analysts believe it is likely to do so again.

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See also:

19 Sep 01 | Middle East
Middle East: Building the coalition
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