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Background
Афганистан Ahmad Shah DURRANI unified the Pashtun tribes и founded Афганистан in 1747. The country served as a buffer between the British и Russian empires until it won independence from notional British control in 1919. A brief experiment in democracy ended in a 1973 coup и a 1978 Communist counter-coup. The Soviet Union invaded in 1979 to support the tottering Afghan Communist regime, touching off a long и destructive war. The USSR withdrew in 1989 under relentless pressure by internationally supported anti-Communist mujahedin rebels. A series of subsequent civil wars saw Kabul finally fall in 1996 to the Taliban, a hardline Pakistani-sponsored movement that emerged in 1994 to end the country's civil war и anarchy. Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City, a US, Allied, и anti-Taliban Northern Alliance military action toppled the Taliban for sheltering Osama BIN LADIN. The UN-sponsored Bonn Conference in 2001 established a process for political reconstruction that included the adoption of a new constitution, a presidential election in 2004, и National Assembly elections in 2005. In December 2004, Hamid KARZAI became the first democratically elected president Афганистана и the National Assembly was inaugurated the following December. Despite gains toward building a stable central government, a resurgent Taliban и continuing provincial instability - particularly in the юг и the восток - remain serious challenges for the Afghan Правление.
Akrotiri By terms of the 1960 Treaty of Establishment that created the independent Республика Кипр, the Великобритания retained full sovereignty и jurisdiction over two areas of almost 254 квадратные километры - Akrotiri и Dhekelia. The southernmost и smallest of these is the Akrotiri Sovereign Base Area, which is also referred to as the Western Sovereign Base Area.
Албания Албания declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912, but was conquered by Италия in 1939. Communist partisans took over the country in 1944. Албания allied itself first with the USSR (until 1960), и then with Китай (to 1978). In the early 1990s, Албания ended 46 лет of xenophobic Communist rule и established a multiparty democracy. The transition has proven challenging as successive governments have tried to deal with high unemployment, widespread corruption, a dilapidated physical infrastructure, powerful organized crime networks, и combative political opponents. Албания has made progress in its democratic development since first holding multiparty elections in 1991, but deficiencies remain. Международные observers judged elections to be largely free и fair since the restoration of political stability following the collapse of pyramid schemes in 1997. In the 2005 general elections, the демократическая партия и its allies won a decisive victory on pledges of reducing crime и corruption, promoting economic growth, и decreasing the size of government. The election, и particularly the orderly transition of power, was considered an important step forward. Although Албания's economy continues to grow, the country is still один of the poorest in Europe, hampered by a large informal economy и an inadequate энергия и транспорт infrastructure. Албания has played a largely helpful role in managing inter-ethnic tensions in southeastern Europe, и is continuing to work toward joining NATO и the EU. Албания, with troops in Ирак и Афганистан, has been a strong supporter of the global war on terrorism.
Алжир After more than a century of rule by Франция, Algerians fought through much of the 1950s to achieve independence in 1962. Алжир's primary political party, the National Liberation Front (FLN), has dominated politics ever since. Many Algerians in the subsequent generation were not satisfied, however, и moved to counter the FLN's centrality in Algerian politics. The surprising first round success of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in the December 1991 balloting spurred the Algerian army to intervene и postpone the second round of elections to prevent what the secular elite feared would be an extremist-led government from assuming power. The army began a crackdown on the FIS that spurred FIS supporters to begin attacking government targets. The government later allowed elections featuring pro-government и moderate religious-based parties, but did not appease the activists who progressively widened their attacks. The fighting escalated into an insurgency, which saw intense fighting between 1992-98 и which resulted in over 100,000 deaths - many attributed to indiscriminate massacres of villagers by extremists. The government gained the upper hand by the late-1990s и FIS's armed wing, the Islamic Salvation Army, disbanded in January 2000. However, small numbers of armed militants persist in confronting government forces и conducting ambushes и occasional attacks on villages. The army placed Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA in the presidency in 1999 in a fraudulent election but claimed neutrality in his 2004 landslide reelection victory. Longstanding problems continue to face BOUTEFLIKA in his second term, including the ethnic minority Berbers' ongoing autonomy campaign, large-scale unemployment, a shortage of housing, unreliable electrical и water supplies, government inefficiencies и corruption, и the continuing activities of extremist militants. The 2006 merger of the Salafist Group for Preaching и Combat (GSPC) with al-Qaida (followed by a name change to al-Qaida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb) signaled an increase in bombings, including high-profile, mass-casualty suicide attacks targeted against the Algerian government и Western interests. Алжир must also diversify its нефть-based economy, which has yielded a large cash reserve but which has not been used to redress Алжир's many social и infrastructure problems.
Американское Самоа Settled as early as 1000 B.C., Самоа was "discovered" by European explorers in the 18th century. Международные rivalries in the latter half of the 19th century were settled by an 1899 treaty in which Германия и the US divided the Samoan archipelago. The US formally occupied its portion - a smaller group of eastern islands with the excellent harbor of Pago Pago - the following year.
Андорра For 715 лет, from 1278 to 1993, Andorrans lived under a unique co-principality, ruled by French и испанский leaders (from 1607 onward, the French chief of state и the испанский bishop of Urgel). In 1993, this feudal system was modified with the titular heads of state retained, but the government transformed into a parliamentary democracy. Long isolated и impoverished, mountainous Андорра achieved considerable prosperity since Мир War II through its tourist industry. Many immigrants (legal и illegal) are attracted to the thriving economy with its lack of income taxes.
Ангола Ангола is rebuilding its country после the end of a 27-year civil war in 2002. Fighting between the Popular Movement for the Liberation Анголы (MPLA), led by Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS, и the National Union for the Total Independence Анголы (UNITA), led by Jonas SAVIMBI, followed independence from Португалия in 1975. Peace seemed imminent in 1992 when Ангола held national elections, but UNITA renewed fighting после being beaten by the MPLA at the polls. Up to 1.5 миллионов lives may have been lost - и 4 миллионов people displaced - in the quarter century of fighting. SAVIMBI's death in 2002 ended UNITA's insurgency и strengthened the MPLA's hold on power. Президент DOS SANTOS has announced legislative elections will be held in September 2008, with presidential elections planned for sometime in 2009.
Ангилья Colonized by английский settlers from Saint Kitts in 1650, Ангилья was administered by Great Britain until the early 19th century, when the island - against the wishes of the inhabitants - was incorporated into a single British dependency, along with Сент-Китс и Невис . Several attempts at separation failed. In 1971, two лет после a revolt, Ангилья was finally allowed to secede; this arrangement was formally recognized in 1980, with Ангилья becoming a separate British dependency.
Антарктика Speculation over the existence of a "southern land" was not confirmed until the early 1820s when British и American commercial operators и British и Russian national expeditions began exploring the Antarctic Peninsula region и other areas юг of the Antarctic Circle. Not until 1840 was it established that Антарктика was indeed a continent и not just a group of islands. Several exploration "firsts" were achieved in the early 20th century. Following Мир War II, there was an upsurge in scientific research on the continent. A number of countries have set up a range of year-round и seasonal stations, camps, и refuges to support scientific research in Антарктика. Seven have made territorial claims, but not all countries recognize these claims. In order to form a legal framework for the activities of nations on the continent, an Antarctic Treaty was negotiated that neither denies nor gives recognition to existing territorial claims; signed in 1959, it entered into force in 1961.
Антигуа и Барбуда The Siboney were the first to inhabit the islands Антигуа и Барбуда in 2400 B.C., but Arawak Indians populated the islands when COLUMBUS landed on his second voyage in 1493. Early settlements by the испанский и French were succeeded by the английский who formed a colony in 1667. Slavery, established to run the sugar plantations on Antigua, was abolished in 1834. The islands became an independent state within the British Commonwealth of Nations in 1981.
Артический океан The Артический океан is the smallest of the world's five oceans (после the Тихий океан, Атлантический океан, Индийский океан, и the recently delimited Южный океан). The Northwest Passage (US и Канада) и Northern Sea Route (Норвегия и Россия) are two important seasonal waterways. A sparse network of air, ocean, river, и land routes circumscribes the Артический океан.
Аргентина In 1816, the United Provinces of the Rio Plata declared their independence from Испания. After Боливия, Парагвай, и Уругвай went their separate ways, the area that remained became Аргентина. The country's population и culture were heavily shaped by immigrants from throughout Europe, but most particularly Италия и Испания, which provided the largest percentage of newcomers from 1860 to 1930. Up until about the mid-20th century, much Аргентины's history was dominated by periods of internal political conflict between Federalists и Unitarians и between civilian и military factions. After Мир War II, an era of Peronist authoritarian rule и interference in subsequent governments was followed by a military junta that took power in 1976. Democracy returned in 1983, и has persisted despite numerous challenges, the most formidable of which was a severe economic crisis in 2001-02 that led to violent public protests и the resignation of several interim presidents. The economy has recovered strongly since bottoming out in 2002.
Армения Армения prides itself on being the first nation to formally adopt Christianity (early 4th century). Despite periods of autonomy, over the centuries Армения came under the sway of various empires including the Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Persian, и Ottoman. During Мир War I in the western portion Армении, Ottoman Турция instituted a policy of forced resettlement coupled with other harsh practices that resulted in an estimated 1 миллионов Armenian deaths. The eastern area Армении was ceded by the Ottomans to Россия in 1828; this portion declared its independence in 1918, but was conquered by the Soviet Red Army in 1920. Armenian leaders remain preoccupied by the long conflict with мусульмане Азербайджан over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated region, assigned to Soviet Азербайджан in the 1920s by Moscow. Армения и Азербайджан began fighting over the area in 1988; the struggle escalated после both countries attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By May 1994, when a cease-fire took hold, Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also a significant portion Азербайджана proper. The economies of both sides have been hurt by their inability to make substantial progress toward a peaceful resolution. Турция imposed an economic blockade on Армения и closed the common border because of the Armenian separatists' control of Nagorno-Karabakh и surrounding areas.
Аруба Discovered и claimed for Испания in 1499, Аруба was acquired by the Dutch in 1636. The island's economy has been dominated by three main industries. A 19th century золото rush was followed by prosperity brought on by the opening in 1924 of an нефть refinery. The last decades of the 20th century saw a boom in the tourism industry. Аруба seceded from the Нидерландские Антильские о-ва in 1986 и became a separate, autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Нидерланды. Movement toward full independence was halted at Аруба's request in 1990.
Острова Ашмор и Картье These uninhabited islands came under Australian authority in 1931; formal administration began two лет later. Ashmore Reef supports a rich и diverse avian и marine habitat; in 1983, it became a National Nature Reserve. Cartier Island, a former bombing range, is now a marine reserve.
Атлантический океан The Атлантический океан is the second largest of the world's five oceans (после the Тихий океан, but larger than the Индийский океан, Южный океан, и Артический океан). The Kiel Canal (Германия), Oresund (Дания-Швеция), Bosporus (Турция), Strait Гибралтара: заморской территории Великобритании (Мороккo-Испания), и the Saint Lawrence Seaway (Канада-US) are important strategic access waterways. The decision by the Международные Hydrographic Organization in the spring of 2000 to delimit a fifth world ocean, the Южный океан, removed the portion of the Атлантический океан юг of 60 degrees юг latitude.
Австралия Aboriginal settlers arrived on the continent from Southeast Азия about 40,000 лет before the first Europeans began exploration in the 17th century. No formal territorial claims were made until 1770, when Capt. James COOK took possession in the name of Great Britain. Six colonies were created in the late 18th и 19th centuries; they federated и became the Commonwealth Австралии in 1901. The new country took advantage of its natural resources to rapidly develop agricultural и обрабатывающая промышленность industries и to make a major contribution to the British effort in Мир Wars I и II. In recent decades, Австралия has transformed itself into an internationally competitive, advanced market economy. It boasted один of the OECD's fastest growing economies during the 1990s, a performance due in large part to economic reforms adopted in the 1980s. Long-term concerns include climate-change issues such as the depletion of the ozone layer и more frequent засухи, и management и conservation of coastal areas, especially the Great Barrier Reef.
Австрия Once the center of power for the large Austro-Hungarian Empire, Австрия was reduced to a small republic после its defeat in Мир War I. Following annexation by Nazi Германия in 1938 и subsequent occupation by the victorious Allies in 1945, Австрия's status remained unclear for a decade. A State Treaty signed in 1955 ended the occupation, recognized Австрия's independence, и forbade unification with Германия. A constitutional law that same year declared the country's "perpetual neutrality" as a condition for Soviet military withdrawal. The Soviet Union's collapse in 1991 и Австрия's entry into the Европейское сообщество in 1995 have altered the meaning of this neutrality. A prosperous, democratic country, Австрия entered the EU Economic и Monetary Union in 1999.
Азербайджан Азербайджан - a nation with a majority-Turkic и majority-мусульмане population - was briefly independent from 1918 to 1920; it regained its independence после the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Despite a 1994 cease-fire, Азербайджан has yet to resolve its conflict with Армения over the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh enclave (largely Armenian populated). Азербайджан has lost 16% of its territory и must support some 600,000 internally displaced persons as a result of the conflict. Corruption is ubiquitous, и the government has been accused of authoritarianism. Although the poverty rate has been reduced in recent лет, the promise of widespread wealth from development Азербайджана's энергия sector remains largely unfulfilled.
Багамские Острова, The Lucayan Indians inhabited the islands when Christopher COLUMBUS first set foot in the New Мир on San Salvador in 1492. British settlement of the islands began in 1647; the islands became a colony in 1783. Since attaining independence from the Великобритания in 1973, The Багамские Острова have prospered through tourism и international banking и investment management. Because of its geography, the country is a major transshipment point for illegal drugs, particularly shipments to the US и Europe, и its territory is used for smuggling illegal migrants into the US.
Бахрейн In 1783, the al-Khalifa family captured Бахрейн from the Persians. In order to secure these holdings, it entered into a series of treaties with the Великобритания during the 19th century that made Бахрейн a British protectorate. The archipelago attained its independence in 1971. Бахрейн's small size и central location among Persian Gulf countries require it to play a delicate balancing act in foreign affairs among its larger neighbors. Facing declining нефть reserves, Бахрейн has turned to нефть processing и refining и has transformed itself into an international banking center. King HAMAD bin Isa al-Khalifa, после coming to power in 1999, pushed economic и political reforms to improve relations with the Shi'a community. Shi'a political societies participated in 2006 parliamentary и municipal elections. Al Wifaq, the largest Shi'a political society, won the largest number of seats in the elected chamber of the legislature. However, Shi'a discontent has resurfaced in recent лет with street demonstrations и occasional low-level violence.
Бангладеш Europeans began to set up trading posts in the area Бангладеша in the 16th century; eventually the British came to dominate the region и it became part of British Индия. In 1947, West Пакистан и East Bengal (both primarily мусульмане) separated from Индия (largely Hindu) и jointly became the new country Пакистана. East Bengal became East Пакистан in 1955, but the awkward arrangement of a two-part country with its territorial units separated by 1,600 км left the Bengalis marginalized и dissatisfied. East Пакистан seceded from its union with West Пакистан in 1971 и was renamed Бангладеш. A military-backed caretaker regime suspended planned parliamentary elections in January 2007 in an effort to reform the political system и root out corruption; the regime has pledged new democratic elections by the end of 2008. About a third of this extremely poor country floods annually during the monsoon rainy season, hampering economic development.
Барбадос The island was uninhabited when first settled by the British in 1627. Slaves worked the sugar plantations established on the island until 1834 when slavery was abolished. The economy remained heavily dependent on sugar, rum, и molasses production through most of the 20th century. The gradual introduction of social и political reforms in the 1940s и 1950s led to complete independence from the Великобритания in 1966. In the 1990s, tourism и обрабатывающая промышленность surpassed the sugar industry in economic importance.
Беларусь After seven decades as a constituent republic of the USSR, Беларусь attained its independence in 1991. It has retained closer political и economic ties to Россия than any of the other former Soviet republics. Беларусь и Россия signed a treaty on a two-state union on 8 December 1999 envisioning greater political и economic integration. Although Беларусь agreed to a framework to carry out the accord, serious implementation has yet to take place. Since his election in July 1994 as the country's first president, Alexandr LUKASHENKO has steadily consolidated his power through authoritarian means. Правление restrictions on freedom of speech и the press, peaceful assembly, и religion continue.
Бельгия Бельгия became independent from the Нидерланды in 1830; it was occupied by Германия during Мир Wars I и II. The country prospered in the past half century as a modern, technologically advanced European state и member of NATO и the EU. Tensions between the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the север и the French-speaking Walloons of the юг have led in recent лет to constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition и autonomy.
Белиз Белиз was the site of several Mayan city states until their decline at the end of the first millennium A.D. The British и испанский disputed the region in the 17th и 18th centuries; it formally became the colony of British Гондурас in 1854. Territorial disputes between the Великобритания и Гватемала delayed the independence Белиза until 1981. Гватемала refused to recognize the new nation until 1992. Tourism has become the mainstay of the economy. Current concerns include an unsustainable foreign debt, high unemployment, growing involvement in the South American drug trade, growing urban crime, и increasing incidences of HIV/AIDS.
Бенин Present day Бенин was the site of Dahomey, a prominent West African kingdom that rose in the 15th century. The territory became a French Colony in 1872 и achieved independence on 1 August 1960, as the Республика Бенин. A succession of military governments ended in 1972 with the rise to power of Mathieu KEREKOU и the establishment of a government based on Marxist-Leninist principles. A move to representative government began in 1989. Two лет later, free elections ushered in former Премьер Министр Nicephore SOGLO as president, marking the first successful transfer of power in Africa from a dictatorship to a democracy. KEREKOU was returned to power by elections held in 1996 и 2001, though some irregularities were alleged. KEREKOU stepped down at the end of his second term in 2006 и was succeeded by Thomas YAYI Boni, a political outsider и independent. YAYI has begun a high profile fight against corruption и has strongly promoted accelerating Бенин's economic growth.
Бермуды Бермуды was first settled in 1609 by shipwrecked английский colonists headed for Virginia. Tourism to the island to escape Северный American winters first developed in Victorian times. Tourism continues to be important to the island's economy, although international business has overtaken it in recent лет. Бермуды has developed into a highly successful offshore financial center. Although a referendum on independence from the Великобритания was soundly defeated in 1995, the present government has reopened debate on the issue.
Бутан In 1865, Britain и Бутан signed the Treaty of Sinchulu, under which Бутан would receive an annual subsidy in exchange for ceding some border land to British Индия. Under British influence, a monarchy was set up in 1907; three лет later, a treaty was signed whereby the British agreed not to interfere in Bhutanese internal affairs и Бутан allowed Britain to direct its foreign affairs. This role was assumed by independent Индия после 1947. Two лет later, a formal Indo-Bhutanese accord returned the areas Бутана annexed by the British, formalized the annual subsidies the country received, и defined Индия's responsibilities in defense и foreign relations. A refugee issue of over 100,000 Bhutanese in Непал remains unresolved; 90% of the беженцы are housed in seven United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camps. In March 2005, King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK unveiled the government's draft constitution - which would introduce major democratic reforms - и pledged to hold a national referendum for its approval. In December 2006, the King abdicated the throne to his son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK, in order to give him experience as head of state before the democratic transition. In early 2007, Индия и Бутан renegotiated their treaty to allow Бутан greater autonomy in conducting its foreign policy, although Thimphu continues to coordinate policy decisions in this area with New Delhi. In July 2007, seven ministers Бутана's ten-member cabinet resigned to join the political process, и the cabinet acted as a caretaker regime until democratic elections for seats to the country's first parliament were completed in March 2008. Непал's constitution was ratified in July 2008.
Боливия Боливия, named после independence fighter Simon BOLIVAR, broke away from испанский rule in 1825; much of its subsequent history has consisted of a series of nearly 200 coups и countercoups. Democratic civilian rule was established in 1982, but leaders have faced difficult problems of deep-seated poverty, social unrest, и illegal drug production. In December 2005, Bolivians elected Movement Toward Socialism leader Evo MORALES president - by the widest margin of any leader since the restoration of civilian rule in 1982 - после he ran on a promise to change the country's traditional political class и empower the nation's poor majority. However, since taking office, his controversial strategies have exacerbated racial и economic tensions between the Amerindian populations of the Andean запад и the non-indigenous communities of the eastern lowlands.
Босния и Герцеговина Босния и Герцеговина's declaration of sovereignty in October 1991 was followed by a declaration of independence from the former Yugoslavia on 3 March 1992 после a referendum boycotted by ethnic Serbs. The Bosnian Serbs - supported by neighboring Сербия и Монтенегро - responded with armed resistance aimed at partitioning the republic along ethnic lines и joining Serb-held areas to form a "Greater Сербия." In March 1994, Bosniaks и Croats reduced the number of warring factions from three to two by signing an agreement creating a joint Bosniak/Croat Federation Боснии и Герцеговины. On 21 November 1995, in Dayton, Ohio, the warring parties initialed a peace agreement that brought to a halt three лет of interethnic civil strife (the final agreement was signed in Paris on 14 December 1995). The Dayton Peace Accords retained Босния и Герцеговина's international boundaries и created a joint multi-ethnic и democratic government charged with conducting foreign, diplomatic, и fiscal policy. Also recognized was a second tier of government comprised of two entities roughly equal in size: the Bosniak/Croat Federation Боснии и Герцеговины и the Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska (RS). The Federation и RS governments were charged with overseeing most government functions. The Office of the High Representative (OHR) was established to oversee the implementation of the civilian aspects of the agreement. In 1995-96, a NATO-led international peacekeeping force (IFOR) of 60,000 troops served in Bosnia to implement и monitor the military aspects of the agreement. IFOR was succeeded by a smaller, NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR) whose mission was to deter renewed hostilities. Европейское сообщество peacekeeping troops (EUFOR) replaced SFOR in December 2004; their mission is to maintain peace и stability throughout the country. EUFOR's mission changed from peacekeeping to civil policing in October 2007, with its presence reduced from nearly 7,000 to 2,500 troops.
Ботсвана Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Ботсвана adopted its new name upon independence in 1966. Four decades of uninterrupted civilian leadership, progressive social policies, и significant capital investment have created один of the most dynamic economies in Africa. Mineral добывающая промышленность, principally diamond добыча полезных ископаемых, dominates economic activity, though tourism is a growing sector due to the country's conservation practices и extensive nature preserves. Ботсвана has один of the world's highest known rates of HIV/AIDS infection, but also один of Africa's most progressive и comprehensive programs for dealing with the disease.
Остров Буве This uninhabited volcanic island is almost entirely covered by glaciers и is difficult to approach. It was discovered in 1739 by a French naval officer после whom the island was named. No claim was made until 1825, when the British flag was raised. In 1928, the Великобритания waived its claim in favor Норвегии, which had occupied the island the previous year. In 1971, Норвегия designated Остров Буве и the adjacent territorial waters a nature reserve. Since 1977, it has run an automated meteorological station on the island.
Бразилия Following three centuries under the rule Португалии, Бразилия became an independent nation in 1822 и a republic in 1889. By far the largest и most populous country in South America, Бразилия overcame more than half a century of military intervention in the governance of the country when in 1985 the military regime peacefully ceded power to civilian rulers. Бразилия continues to pursue industrial и agricultural growth и development of its interior. Exploiting vast natural resources и a large labor pool, it is today South America's leading economic power и a regional leader. Highly unequal income distribution и crime remain pressing problems.
Британская территория в Индийском океане Established as a territory of the Великобритания in 1965, a number of the Британская территория в Индийском океане (BIOT) islands were transferred to the Сейшельские Острова when it attained independence in 1976. Subsequently, BIOT has consisted only of the six main island groups comprising the Chagos Archipelago. The largest и most southerly of the islands, Diego Garcia, contains a joint Великобритания-US naval support facility. All of the remaining islands are uninhabited. Former agricultural workers, earlier residents in the islands, were relocated primarily to Маврикий but also to the Сейшельские Острова , between 1967 и 1973. In 2000, a British High Court ruling invalidated the local immigration order that had excluded them from the archipelago, but upheld the special military status of Diego Garcia.
Британские Виргинские острова First inhabited by Arawak и later by Carib Indians, the Виргинские Острова (Британские) were settled by the Dutch in 1648 и then annexed by the английский in 1672. The islands were part of the British colony of the Leeward Islands from 1872-1960; they were granted autonomy in 1967. The economy is closely tied to the larger и more populous US Виргинские Острова (Британские) to the запад; the доллар США is the legal currency.
Бруней The Sultanate Брунея's influence peaked between the 15th и 17th centuries when its control extended over coastal areas of northwest Borneo и the southern Филиппины. Бруней subsequently entered a period of decline brought on by internal strife over royal succession, colonial expansion of European powers, и piracy. In 1888, Бруней became a British protectorate; independence was achieved in 1984. The same family has ruled Бруней for over six centuries. Бруней benefits from extensive нефть и природный газ fields, the source of один of the highest per capita GDPs in Азия.
Болгария The Bulgars, a Central азиаты Turkic tribe, merged with the local Slavic inhabitants in the late 7th century to form the first Bulgarian state. In succeeding centuries, Болгария struggled with the Byzantine Empire to assert its place in the Balkans, but by the end of the 14th century the country was overrun by the Ottoman Turks. Northern Болгария attained autonomy in 1878 и all Болгарии became independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1908. Having fought on the losing side in both Мир Wars, Болгария fell within the Soviet sphere of influence и became a Люди's Republic in 1946. Communist domination ended in 1990, when Болгария held its first multiparty election since Мир War II и began the contentious process of moving toward political democracy и a market economy while combating inflation, unemployment, corruption, и crime. The country joined NATO in 2004 и the EU in 2007.
Буркина Фасо Буркина Фасо (formerly Upper Volta) achieved independence from Франция in 1960. Repeated military coups during the 1970s и 1980s were followed by multiparty elections in the early 1990s. Current Президент Blaise COMPAORE came to power in a 1987 military coup и has won every election since then. Буркина Фасо's high population density и limited natural resources result in poor economic prospects for the majority of its citizens. Recent unrest in Кот-д’Ивуар и northern Гана has hindered the ability of several hundred thousand seasonal Burkinabe farm workers to find employment in neighboring countries.
Мьянма Britain conquered Мьянма over a period of 62 лет (1824-1886) и incorporated it into its Indian Empire. Мьянма was administered as a province Индии until 1937 when it became a separate, self-governing colony; independence from the Commonwealth was attained in 1948. Gen. NE WIN dominated the government from 1962 to 1988, first as military ruler, then as self-appointed president, и later as political kingpin. Despite multiparty legislative elections in 1990 that resulted in the main opposition party - the National League for Democracy (NLD) - winning a landslide victory, the ruling junta refused to hand over power. NLD leader и Nobel Peace Prize recipient AUNG SAN SUU KYI, who was under house arrest from 1989 to 1995 и 2000 to 2002, was imprisoned in May 2003 и subsequently transferred to house arrest. After Мьянма's ruling junta in August 2007 unexpectedly increased fuel prices, tens of thousands of Burmese marched in protest, led by prodemocracy activists и буддисты monks. In late September 2007, the government brutally suppressed the protests, killing at least 13 people и arresting thousands for participating in the demonstrations. Since then, the regime has continued to raid homes и monasteries и arrest persons suspected of participating in the pro-democracy protests. The junta appointed Labor Minister AUNG KYI in October 2007 as liaison to AUNG SAN SUU KYI, who remains under house arrest и virtually incommunicado with her party и supporters.
Бурунди Бурунди's first democratically elected president was assassinated in October 1993 после only 100 days in office, triggering widespread ethnic violence between Hutu и Tutsi factions. More than 200,000 Burundians perished during the conflict that spanned almost a dozen лет. Hundreds of thousands of Burundians were internally displaced или became беженцы in neighboring countries. An internationally brokered power-sharing agreement between the Tutsi-dominated government и the Hutu rebels in 2003 paved the way for a transition process that led to an integrated defense force, established a new constitution in 2005, и elected a majority Hutu government in 2005. The new government, led by Президент Pierre NKURUNZIZA, signed a South African brokered ceasefire with the country's last rebel group in September of 2006 but still faces many challenges.
Камбоджа Most Cambodians consider themselves to be Khmers, descendants of the Angkor Empire that extended over much of Southeast Азия и reached its zenith between the 10th и 13th centuries. Attacks by the Thai и Cham (from present-day Вьетнам) weakened the empire, ushering in a long period of decline. The king placed the country under French protection in 1863 и it became part of French Indochina in 1887. Following Japanese occupation in Мир War II, Камбоджа gained full independence from Франция in 1953. In April 1975, после a five-year struggle, Communist Khmer Rouge forces captured Phnom Penh и evacuated all cities и towns. At least 1.5 миллионов Cambodians died from execution, forced hardships, или starvation during the Khmer Rouge regime under POL POT. A December 1978 Vietnamese invasion drove the Khmer Rouge into the countryside, began a 10-year Vietnamese occupation, и touched off almost 13 лет of civil war. The 1991 Paris Peace Accords mandated democratic elections и a ceasefire, which was not fully respected by the Khmer Rouge. UN-sponsored elections in 1993 helped restore some semblance of normalcy under a coalition government. Factional fighting in 1997 ended the first coalition government, but a second round of national elections in 1998 led to the formation of another coalition government и renewed political stability. The remaining elements of the Khmer Rouge surrendered in early 1999. Some of the remaining Khmer Rouge leaders are awaiting trial by a UN-sponsored tribunal for crimes against humanity. Elections in July 2003 were relatively peaceful, but it took один year of negotiations between contending political parties before a coalition government was formed. In October 2004, King SIHANOUK abdicated the throne due to illness и his son, Prince Norodom SIHAMONI, was selected to succeed him. Local elections were held in Камбоджа in April 2007, и there was little in the way of pre-election violence that preceded prior elections. National elections are scheduled for July 2008.
Камерун The former French Камерун и part of British Камерун merged in 1961 to form the present country. Камерун has generally enjoyed stability, which has permitted the development of agriculture, roads, и railways, as well as a нефть industry. Despite a slow movement toward democratic reform, political power remains firmly in the hands of Президент Paul BIYA.
Канада A land of vast distances и rich natural resources, Канада became a self-governing dominion in 1867 while retaining ties to the British crown. Economically и technologically the nation has developed in parallel with the US, its neighbor to the юг across an unfortified border. Канада faces the political challenges of meeting public demands for quality improvements in health care и education services, as well as responding to separatist concerns in predominantly francophone Quebec. Канада also aims to develop its diverse энергия resources while maintaining its commitment to the environment.
Кабо-Верде The uninhabited islands were discovered и colonized by the Portuguese in the 15th century; Кабо-Верде subsequently became a trading center for African slaves и later an important coaling и resupply stop for whaling и transatlantic shipping. Following independence in 1975, и a tentative interest in unification with Гвинея-Бисау, a один-party system was established и maintained until multi-party elections were held in 1990. Кабо-Верде continues to exhibit один of Africa's most stable democratic governments. Repeated засухи during the second half of the 20th century caused significant hardship и prompted heavy emigration. As a result, Кабо-Верде's expatriate population is greater than its domestic один. Most Cape Verdeans have both African и Portuguese antecedents.
Каймановы Острoва The Каймановы Острoва were colonized from Ямайка by the British during the 18th и 19th centuries, и were administered by Ямайка после 1863. In 1959, the islands became a territory within the Federation of the West Indies, but when the Federation dissolved in 1962, the Каймановы Острoва chose to remain a British dependency.
Центральноафриканская Республика The former French colony of Ubangi-Shari became the Центральноафриканская Республика upon independence in 1960. After three tumultuous decades of misrule - mostly by military governments - civilian rule was established in 1993 и lasted for один decade. Президент Ange-Felix PATASSE's civilian government was plagued by unrest, и in March 2003 he was deposed in a military coup led by General Francois BOZIZE, who established a transitional government. Though the government has the tacit support of civil society groups и the main parties, a wide field of candidates contested the municipal, legislative, и presidential elections held in March и May of 2005 in which General BOZIZE was affirmed as president. The government still does not fully control the countryside, where pockets of lawlessness persist. Unrest in neighboring nations, Чад , Судан, и the DRC, continues to affect stability in the Центральноафриканская Республика as well.
Чад Чад , part Франции's African holdings until 1960, endured three decades of civil warfare as well as invasions by Либия before a semblance of peace was finally restored in 1990. The government eventually drafted a democratic constitution, и held flawed presidential elections in 1996 и 2001. In 1998, a rebellion broke out in northern Чад , which has sporadically flared up despite several peace agreements between the government и the rebels. In 2005, new rebel groups emerged in western Судан и made probing attacks into eastern Чад , despite signing peace agreements in December 2006 и October 2007. Power remains in the hands of an ethnic minority. In June 2005, Президент Idriss DEBY held a referendum successfully removing constitutional term limits и won another controversial election in 2006. Sporadic rebel campaigns continued throughout 2006 и 2007, и the capital experienced a significant rebel threat in early 2008.
Чили Prior to the coming of the испанский in the 16th century, northern Чили was under Inca rule while Araucanian Indians (also known as Mapuches) inhabited central и southern Чили. Although Чили declared its independence in 1810, decisive victory over the испанский was not achieved until 1818. In the War of the Pacific (1879-83), Чили defeated Перу и Боливия и won its present northern regions. It was not until the 1880s that the Araucanian Indians were completely subjugated. A three-year-old Marxist government of Salvador ALLENDE was overthrown in 1973 by a military coup led by Augusto PINOCHET, who ruled until a freely elected president was installed in 1990. Sound economic policies, maintained consistently since the 1980s, have contributed to steady growth, reduced poverty rates by over half, и have helped secure the country's commitment to democratic и representative government. Чили has increasingly assumed regional и international leadership roles befitting its status as a stable, democratic nation.
Китай For centuries Китай stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts и sciences, but in the 19th и early 20th centuries, the country was beset by civil unrest, major famines, military defeats, и foreign occupation. After Мир War II, the Communists under MAO Zedong established an autocratic socialist system that, while ensuring Китай's sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life и cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, his successor DENG Xiaoping и other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development и by 2000 output had quadrupled. For much of the population, living standards have improved dramatically и the room for personal choice has expanded, yet political controls remain tight.
Рождества Остров Named in 1643 for the day of its discovery, the island was annexed и settlement began by the Великобритания in 1888. Phosphate добыча полезных ископаемых began in the 1890s. The Великобритания transferred sovereignty to Австралия in 1958. Almost two-thirds of the island has been declared a national park.
Клипертон, Остров This isolated island was named for John CLIPPERTON, a pirate who made it his hideout early in the 18th century. Annexed by Франция in 1855, it was seized by Мексика in 1897. Arbitration eventually awarded the island to Франция, which took possession in 1935.
Кокосовые Острова There are 27 coral islands in the group. Captain William KEELING discovered the islands in 1609, but they remained uninhabited until the 19th century. From the 1820s to 1978, members of the CLUNIE-ROSS family controlled the islands и the copra produced from local coconuts. Annexed by the Великобритания in 1857, the Cocos Islands were transferred to the Australian Правление in 1955. The population on the two inhabited islands generally is split between the ethnic Europeans on West Island и the ethnic Malays on На главную Island.
Колумбия Колумбия was один of the three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Колумбия in 1830 (the others are Эквадор и Венесуэлa). A 40-year conflict between government forces и anti-government insurgent groups и illegal paramilitary groups - both heavily funded by the drug trade - escalated during the 1990s. The insurgents lack the military или popular support necessary to overthrow the government, и violence has been decreasing since about 2002, but insurgents continue attacks against civilians и large swaths of the countryside are under guerrilla influence. More than 32,000 former paramilitaries had demobilized by the end of 2006 и the United Self Defense Forces Колумбии (AUC) as a formal organization had ceased to function. Still, some renegades continued to engage in criminal activities. The Colombian Правление has stepped up efforts to reassert government control throughout the country, и now has a presence in every один of its administrative departments. However, neighboring countries worry about the violence spilling over their borders.
Коморские Острова Коморские Острова has endured more than 20 coups или attempted coups since gaining independence from Франция in 1975. In 1997, the islands of Anjouan и Moheli declared independence from Коморские Острова. In 1999, military chief Col. AZALI seized power in a bloodless coup, и helped negotiate the 2000 Fomboni Accords power-sharing agreement in which the federal presidency rotates among the three islands, и each island maintains its own local government. AZALI won the 2002 Presidential election, и each island in the archipelago elected its own president. AZALI stepped down in 2006 и Президент SAMBI took office. Since 2006, Anjouan's Президент Mohamed BACAR has refused to work effectively with the Union presidency. In 2007, BACAR effected Anjouan's de-facto secession from the Union, refusing to step down in favor of fresh Anjouanais elections when Коморские Острова' other islands held legitimate elections in July. The African Union (AU) initially attempted to resolve the political crisis by applying sanctions и a naval blockade on Anjouan, but in March 2008, AU и Comoran soldiers seized the island. The move was generally welcomed by the island's inhabitants.
Congo, Democratic Республика the Established as a Belgian colony in 1908, the Республика the Congo gained its independence in 1960, but its early лет were marred by political и social instability. Col. Joseph MOBUTU seized power и declared himself president in a November 1965 coup. He subsequently changed his name - to MOBUTU Sese Seko - as well as that of the country - to Zaire. MOBUTU retained his position for 32 лет through several sham elections, as well as through the use of brutal force. Ethnic strife и civil war, touched off by a massive inflow of беженцы in 1994 from fighting in Руанда и Бурунди, led in May 1997 to the toppling of the MOBUTU regime by a rebellion backed by Руанда и Угадна и fronted by Laurent KABILA. He renamed the country the Democratic Республика the Congo (DRC), but in August 1998 his regime was itself challenged by a second insurrection again backed by Руанда и Угадна. Troops from Ангола, Чад , Намибия, Судан, и Зимбабве intervened to support KABILA's regime. A cease-fire was signed in July 1999 by the DRC, Congolese armed rebel groups, Ангола, Намибия, Руанда, Угадна, и Зимбабве but sporadic fighting continued. Laurent KABILA was assassinated in January 2001 и his son, Joseph KABILA, was named head of state. In October 2002, the new president was successful in negotiating the withdrawal of Rwandan forces occupying eastern Congo; two months later, the Pretoria Accord was signed by all remaining warring parties to end the fighting и establish a government of national unity. A transitional government was set up in July 2003. Joseph KABILA as president и four vice presidents represented the former government, former rebel groups, the political opposition, и civil society. The transitional government held a successful constitutional referendum in December 2005 и elections for the presidency, National Assembly, и provincial legislatures in 2006. KABILA was inaugurated president in December 2006. The National Assembly was installed in September 2006. Its president, Vital KAMERHE, was chosen in December. Provincial assemblies were constituted in early 2007, и elected governors и national senators in January 2007.
Congo, Республика the Upon independence in 1960, the former French region of Middle Congo became the Республика the Congo. A quarter century of experimentation with Marxism was abandoned in 1990 и a democratically elected government took office in 1992. A brief civil war in 1997 restored former Marxist Президент Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO, и ushered in a period of ethnic и political unrest. Southern-based rebel groups agreed to a final peace accord in March 2003, but the calm is tenuous и беженцы continue to present a humanitarian crisis. The Республика Congo was once один of Africa's largest нефть producers, but with declining production it will need new offshore нефть finds to sustain its нефть earnings over the long term.
Острова Кука Named после Captain COOK, who sighted them in 1770, the islands became a British protectorate in 1888. By 1900, administrative control was transferred to Новая Зеландия; in 1965, residents chose self-government in free association with Новая Зеландия. The emigration of skilled workers to Новая Зеландия и government deficits are continuing problems.
Коралловые Острова Scattered over more than three-quarters of a миллионов квадратные километры of ocean, the Коралловые Острова were declared a territory Австралии in 1969. They are uninhabited except for a small meteorological staff on the Willis Islets. Automated weather stations, beacons, и a lighthouse occupy many other islands и reefs.
Коста-Рика Although explored by the испанский early in the 16th century, initial attempts at colonizing Коста-Рика proved unsuccessful due to a combination of factors, including: disease from mosquito-infested swamps, brutal heat, resistance by natives, и pirate raids. It was not until 1563 that a permanent settlement of Cartago was established in the cooler, fertile central highlands. The area remained a colony for some two и a half centuries. In 1821, Коста-Рика became один of several Central American provinces that jointly declared their independence from Испания. Two лет later it joined the United Provinces of Central America, but this федерация disintegrated in 1838, at which time Коста-Рика proclaimed its sovereignty и independence. Since the late 19th century, only two brief periods of violence have marred the country's democratic development. Although it still maintains a large agricultural sector, Коста-Рика has expanded its economy to include strong technology и tourism industries. The standard of living is relatively high. Land ownership is widespread.
Кот-д’Ивуар Close ties to Франция since independence in 1960, the development of cocoa production for export, и foreign investment made Кот-д’Ивуар один of the most prosperous of the West African states, but did not protect it from political turmoil. In December 1999, a military coup - the first ever in Кот-д’Ивуар's history - overthrew the government. Junta leader Robert GUEI blatantly rigged elections held in late 2000 и declared himself the winner. Popular protest forced him to step aside и brought Laurent GBAGBO into power. Ivorian dissidents и disaffected members of the military launched a failed coup attempt in September 2002. Rebel forces claimed the northern half of the country, и in January 2003 were granted ministerial positions in a unity government under the auspices of the Linas-Marcoussis Peace Accord. Президент GBAGBO и rebel forces resumed implementation of the peace accord in December 2003 после a three-month stalemate, but issues that sparked the civil war, such as land reform и grounds for citizenship, remained unresolved. In March 2007 Президент GBAGBO и former New Force rebel leader Guillaume SORO signed the Ouagadougou Political Agreement. As a result of the agreement, SORO joined GBAGBO's government as Премьер Министр и the two agreed to reunite the country by dismantling the zone of confidence separating Северный from South, integrate rebel forces into the national armed forces, и hold elections. Several thousand French и UN troops remain in Кот-д’Ивуар to help the parties implement their commitments и to support the peace process.
Хорватия The lands that today comprise Хорватия were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the close Мира War I. In 1918, the Croats, Serbs, и Slovenes formed a kingdom known после 1929 as Yugoslavia. Following Мир War II, Yugoslavia became a federal independent Communist state under the strong hand of Marshal TITO. Although Хорватия declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, it took four лет of sporadic, but often bitter, fighting before occupying Serb armies were mostly cleared from Croatian lands. Under UN supervision, the last Serb-held enclave in eastern Slavonia was returned to Хорватия in 1998.
Куба The native Amerindian population Кубы began to decline после the European discovery of the island by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1492 и following its development as a испанский colony during the next several centuries. Large numbers of African slaves were imported to work the coffee и sugar plantations, и Havana became the launching point for the annual treasure fleets bound for Испания from Мексика и Перу. испанский rule, marked initially by neglect, became increasingly repressive, provoking an independence movement и occasional rebellions that were harshly suppressed. It was US intervention during the испанский-American War in 1898 that finally overthrew испанский rule. The subsequent Treaty of Paris established Cuban independence, which was granted in 1902 после a three-year transition period. Fidel CASTRO led a rebel army to victory in 1959; his железная руда rule held the subsequent regime together for nearly five decades. He stepped down as president in February 2008 in favor of his younger brother Raul CASTRO. Куба's Communist revolution, with Soviet support, was exported throughout Latin America и Africa during the 1960s, 1970s, и 1980s. The country is now slowly recovering from a severe economic downturn in 1990, following the withdrawal of former Soviet subsidies, worth $4 миллиардов: to $6 миллиардов: annually. Куба portrays its difficulties as the result of the US embargo in place since 1961. Illicit migration to the US - using homemade rafts, alien smugglers, air flights, или via the southwest border - is a continuing problem. The US Coast Guard intercepted 2,864 individuals attempting to cross the Straits of Florida in fiscal year 2006.
Кипр A former British colony, Кипр became independent in 1960 following лет of resistance to British rule. Tensions between the Greek Cypriot majority и Turkish Cypriot minority came to a head in December 1963, when violence broke out in the capital of Nicosia. Despite the deployment of UN peacekeepers in 1964, sporadic intercommunal violence continued forcing most Turkish Cypriots into enclaves throughout the island. In 1974, a Greek Правление-sponsored attempt to seize control Кипра was met by military intervention from Турция, which soon controlled more than a third of the island. In 1983, the Turkish-held area declared itself the "Turkish Республика Northern Кипр" (TRNC), but it is recognized only by Турция. The latest two-year round of UN-brokered talks - between the leaders of the Greek Cypriot и Turkish Cypriot communities to reach an agreement to reunite the divided island - ended when the Greek Cypriots rejected the UN settlement plan in an April 2004 referendum. The entire island entered the EU on 1 May 2004, although the EU acquis - the body of common rights и obligations - applies only to the areas under direct government control, и is suspended in the areas administered by Turkish Cypriots. However, individual Turkish Cypriots able to document their eligibility for Республика Кипр citizenship legally enjoy the same rights accorded to other citizens Европейского сообщества states. The election of a new Cypriot president in 2008 served as the impetus for the UN to encourage both the Turkish и Cypriot Governments to reopen unification negotiations.
Чешская республика Following the First Мир War, the closely related Czechs и Slovaks of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire merged to form Czechoslovakia. During the interwar лет, the new country's leaders were frequently preoccupied with meeting the demands of other ethnic minorities within the republic, most notably the Sudeten Germans и the Ruthenians (Ukrainians). After Мир War II, a truncated Czechoslovakia fell within the Soviet sphere of influence. In 1968, an invasion by Warsaw Pact troops ended the efforts of the country's leaders to liberalize Communist party rule и create "socialism with a human face." Anti-Soviet demonstrations the following year ushered in a period of harsh repression. With the collapse of Soviet authority in 1989, Czechoslovakia regained its freedom through a peaceful "Velvet Revolution." On 1 January 1993, the country underwent a "velvet divorce" into its two national components, the Чешская республика и Словакия. The Чешская республика joined NATO in 1999 и the Европейское сообщество in 2004.
Дания Once the seat of Viking raiders и later a major север European power, Дания has evolved into a modern, prosperous nation that is participating in the general political и economic integration of Europe. It joined NATO in 1949 и the EEC (now the EU) in 1973. However, the country has opted out of certain elements of the Европейское сообщество's Maastricht Treaty, including the European Economic и Monetary Union (EMU), European defense cooperation, и issues concerning certain justice и home affairs.
Dhekelia By terms of the 1960 Treaty of Establishment that created the independent Республика Кипр, the Великобритания retained full sovereignty и jurisdiction over two areas of almost 254 квадратные километры - Akrotiri и Dhekelia. The larger of these is the Dhekelia Sovereign Base Area, which is also referred to as the Eastern Sovereign Base Area.
Джибути The French Territory of the Afars и the Issas became Джибути in 1977. Hassan Gouled APTIDON installed an authoritarian один-party state и proceeded to serve as president until 1999. Unrest among the Afars minority during the 1990s led to a civil war that ended in 2001 following the conclusion of a peace accord between Afar rebels и the Issa-dominated government. In 1999, Джибути's first multi-party presidential elections resulted in the election of Ismail Omar GUELLEH; he was re-elected to a second и final term in 2005. Джибути occupies a strategic geographic location at the mouth of the Red Sea и serves as an important transshipment location for goods entering и leaving the восток African highlands. The present leadership favors close ties to Франция, which maintains a significant military presence in the country, but also has strong ties with the US. Джибути hosts the only US military base in sub-Saharan Africa и is a front-line state in the global war on terrorism.
Доминика Доминика was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans due chiefly to the fierce resistance of the native Caribs. Франция ceded possession to Great Britain in 1763, which made the island a colony in 1805. In 1980, two лет после independence, Доминика's fortunes improved when a corrupt и tyrannical administration was replaced by that of Mary Eugenia CHARLES, the first female prime minister in the Caribbean, who remained in office for 15 лет. Some 3,000 Carib Indians still living on Доминика are the only pre-Columbian population remaining in the eastern Caribbean.
Доминиканская республика Explored и claimed by Christopher COLUMBUS on his first voyage in 1492, the island of Hispaniola became a springboard for испанский conquest of the Caribbean и the American mainland. In 1697, Испания recognized French dominion over the western third of the island, which in 1804 became Гаити. The remainder of the island, by then known as Santo Domingo, sought to gain its own independence in 1821, but was conquered и ruled by the Haitians for 22 лет; it finally attained independence as the Доминиканская республика in 1844. In 1861, the Dominicans voluntarily returned to the испанский Empire, but two лет later they launched a war that restored independence in 1865. A legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative rule followed, capped by the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas TRUJILLO from 1930-61. Juan BOSCH was elected president in 1962, but was deposed in a military coup in 1963. In 1965, the США led an intervention in the midst of a civil war sparked by an uprising to restore BOSCH. In 1966, Joaquin BALAGUER defeated BOSCH in an election to become president. BALAGUER maintained a tight grip on power for most of the next 30 лет when international reaction to flawed elections forced him to curtail his term in 1996. Since then, regular competitive elections have been held in which opposition candidates have won the presidency. Former Президент (1996-2000) Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna won election to a second term in 2004 following a constitutional amendment allowing presidents to serve more than один term.
Эквадор What is now Эквадор formed part of the northern Inca Empire until the испанский conquest in 1533. Quito became a seat of испанский colonial government in 1563 и part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717. The territories of the Viceroyalty - New Granada (Колумбия), Венесуэлa, и Quito - gained their independence between 1819 и 1822 и formed a федерация known as Gran Колумбия. When Quito withdrew in 1830, the traditional name was changed in favor of the "Республика the Equator." Between 1904 и 1942, Эквадор lost territories in a series of conflicts with its neighbors. A border war with Перу that flared in 1995 was resolved in 1999. Although Эквадор marked 25 лет of civilian governance in 2004, the period has been marred by political instability. Protests in Quito have contributed to the mid-term ouster Эквадора's last three democratically elected Presidents. In 2007, a Constituent Assembly was elected to draft a new constitution; Эквадор's twentieth since gaining independence.
Египет The regularity и richness of the annual Nile River flood, coupled with semi-isolation provided by deserts to the восток и запад, allowed for the development of один of the world's great civilizations. A unified kingdom arose circa 3200 B.C., и a series of dynasties ruled in Египет for the next three millennia. The last native dynasty fell to the Persians in 341 B.C., who in turn were replaced by the Greeks, Romans, и Byzantines. It was the Arabs who introduced Islam и the Arabic language in the 7th century и who ruled for the next six centuries. A local military caste, the Mamluks took control about 1250 и continued to govern после the conquest Египта by the Ottoman Turks in 1517. Following the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, Египет became an important world транспорт hub, but also fell heavily into debt. Ostensibly to protect its investments, Britain seized control Египта's government in 1882, but nominal allegiance to the Ottoman Empire continued until 1914. Partially independent from the Великобритания in 1922, Египет acquired full sovereignty with the overthrow of the British-backed monarchy in 1952. The completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1971 и the resultant Lake Nasser have altered the time-honored place of the Nile River in the agriculture и ecology Египта. A rapidly growing population (the largest in the Arab world), limited пахотные земли, и dependence on the Nile all continue to overtax resources и stress society. The government has struggled to meet the demands Египта's growing population through economic reform и massive investment in communications и physical infrastructure.
Сальвадор Сальвадор achieved independence from Испания in 1821 и from the Central American Federation in 1839. A 12-year civil war, which cost about 75,000 lives, was brought to a close in 1992 when the government и leftist rebels signed a treaty that provided for military и political reforms.
Экваториальная Гвинея Экваториальная Гвинея gained independence in 1968 после 190 лет of испанский rule. This tiny country, composed of a mainland portion plus five inhabited islands, is один of the smallest on the African continent. Президент Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO has ruled the country since 1979 when he seized power in a coup. Although nominally a constitutional democracy since 1991, the 1996 и 2002 presidential elections - as well as the 1999 и 2004 legislative elections - were widely seen as flawed. The president exerts almost total control over the political system и has discouraged political opposition. Экваториальная Гвинея has experienced rapid economic growth due to the discovery of large offshore нефть reserves, и in the last decade has become Sub-Saharan Africa's third largest нефть exporter. Despite the country's economic windfall from нефть production resulting in a massive increase in government revenue in recent лет, there have been few improvements in the population's living standards.
Эритрея Эритрея was awarded to Эфиопия in 1952 as part of a федерация. Эфиопия's annexation Эритреи as a province 10 лет later sparked a 30-year struggle for independence that ended in 1991 with Eritrean rebels defeating governmental forces; independence was overwhelmingly approved in a 1993 referendum. A two-и-a-half-year border war with Эфиопия that erupted in 1998 ended under UN auspices in December 2000. Эритрея currently hosts a UN peacekeeping operation that is monitoring a 25 км-wide Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) on the border with Эфиопия. An international commission, organized to resolve the border dispute, posted its findings in 2002. However, both parties have been unable to reach agreement on implementing the decision. On 30 November 2007, the Эритрея-Эфиопия Boundary Commission remotely demarcated the border by coordinates и dissolved itself, leaving Эфиопия still occupying several tracts of disputed territory, including the town of Badme. Эритрея accepted the EEBC's "virtual demarcation" decision и called on Эфиопия to remove its troops from the TSZ which it states is Eritrean territory. Эфиопия has not accepted the virtual demarcation decision.
Эстония After centuries of Danish, Swedish, German, и Russian rule, Эстония attained independence in 1918. Forcibly incorporated into the USSR in 1940 - an action never recognized by the US - it regained its freedom in 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since the last Russian troops left in 1994, Эстония has been free to promote economic и political ties with Western Europe. It joined both NATO и the EU in the spring of 2004.
Эфиопия Unique among African countries, the ancient Ethiopian monarchy maintained its freedom from colonial rule with the exception of the 1936-41 Italian occupation during Мир War II. In 1974, a military junta, the Derg, deposed Emperor Haile SELASSIE (who had ruled since 1930) и established a socialist state. Torn by bloody coups, uprisings, wide-scale drought, и massive refugee problems, the regime was finally toppled in 1991 by a coalition of rebel forces, the Ethiopian Люди's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). A constitution was adopted in 1994, и Эфиопия's first multiparty elections were held in 1995. A border war with Эритрея late in the 1990s ended with a peace treaty in December 2000. The Эритрея-Эфиопия Border Commission in November 2007 remotely demarcated the border by geographical coordinates, but final demarcation of the boundary on the ground is currently on hold because of Ethiopian objections to an international commission's finding requiring it to surrender territory considered sensitive to Эфиопия.
Европейское сообщество Following the two devastating Мир Wars of the first half of the 20th century, a number of European leaders in the late 1940s became convinced that the only way to establish a lasting peace was to unite the two chief belligerent nations - Франция и Германия - both economically и politically. In 1950, the French Foreign Minister Robert SCHUMAN proposed an eventual union of all Europe, the first step of which would be the integration of the каменный уголь и steel industries of Western Europe. The following year the European Coal и Steel Community (ECSC) was set up when six members, Бельгия, Франция, West Германия, Италия, Люксембург, и the Нидерланды, signed the Treaty of Paris. The ECSC was so successful that within a few лет the decision was made to integrate other parts of the countries' economies. In 1957, the Treaties of Rome created the European Economic Community (EEC) и the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), и the six member states undertook to eliminate trade barriers among themselves by forming a common market. In 1967, the institutions of all three communities were formally merged into the European Community (EC), creating a single Commission, a single Council of Ministers, и the European Parliament. Members of the European Parliament were initially selected by national parliaments, but in 1979 the first direct elections were undertaken и they have been held every five лет since. In 1973, the first enlargement of the EC took place with the addition Дании, Ирландия, и the Великобритания. The 1980s saw further membership expansion with Греция joining in 1981 и Испания и Португалия in 1986. The 1992 Treaty of Maastricht laid the basis for further forms of cooperation in foreign и defense policy, in judicial и internal affairs, и in the creation of an economic и monetary union - including a common currency. This further integration created the Европейское сообщество (EU). In 1995, Австрия, Финляндия, и Швеция joined the EU, raising the membership total to 15. A new currency, the euro, was launched in world money markets on 1 January 1999; it became the unit of exchange for all of the EU states except the Великобритания, Швеция, и Дания. In 2002, citizens of the 12 euro-area countries began using the euro banknotes и coins. Ten new countries joined the EU in 2004 - Кипр, the Чешская республика, Эстония, Венгрия, Латвия, Литва, Мальта, Польша, Словакия, и Словения - и in 2007 Болгария и Румыния joined, bringing the current membership to 27. In order to ensure that the EU can continue to function efficiently with an expanded membership, the Treaty of Nice (in force as of 1 February 2003) set forth rules streamlining the size и procedures of EU institutions. An effort to establish an EU constitution, begun in October 2004, failed to attain unanimous ratification. A new effort, undertaken in June 2007, calls for the creation of an Intergovernmental Conference to form a political agreement, known as the Reform Treaty, which is to serve as a constitution. Unlike the constitution, however, the Reform Treaty would amend existing treaties rather than replace them.
Фолклендские ( Мальвинские) осторова Although first sighted by an английский navigator in 1592, the first landing (английский) did not occur until almost a century later in 1690, и the first settlement (French) was not established until 1764. The colony was turned over to Испания two лет later и the islands have since been the subject of a territorial dispute, first between Britain и Испания, then between Britain и Аргентина. The Великобритания asserted its claim to the islands by establishing a naval garrison there in 1833. Аргентина invaded the islands on 2 April 1982. The British responded with an expeditionary force that landed seven weeks later и после fierce fighting forced an Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982.
Фарерские Острова The population of the Фарерские Острова is largely descended from Viking settlers who arrived in the 9th century. The islands have been connected politically to Дания since the 14th century. A high degree of self government was attained in 1948.
Фиджи Фиджи became independent in 1970, после nearly a century as a British colony. Democratic rule was interrupted by two military coups in 1987, caused by concern over a government perceived as dominated by the Indian community (descendants of contract laborers brought to the islands by the British in the 19th century). The coups и a 1990 constitution that cemented native Melanesian control Фиджи, led to heavy Indian emigration; the population loss resulted in economic difficulties, but ensured that Melanesians became the majority. A new constitution enacted in 1997 was more equitable. Free и peaceful elections in 1999 resulted in a government led by an Indo-Fijian, but a civilian-led coup in May 2000 ushered in a prolonged period of political turmoil. Parliamentary elections held in August 2001 provided Фиджи with a democratically elected government led by Премьер Министр Laisenia QARASE. Re-elected in May 2006, QARASE was ousted in a December 2006 military coup led by Commodore Voreqe BAINIMARAMA, who initially appointed himself acting president. In January 2007, BAINIMARAMA was appointed interim prime minister.
Финляндия Финляндия was a province и then a grand duchy under Швеция from the 12th to the 19th centuries, и an autonomous grand duchy России после 1809. It won its complete independence in 1917. During Мир War II, it was able to successfully defend its freedom и resist invasions by the Soviet Union - albeit with some loss of territory. In the subsequent half century, the Finns made a remarkable transformation from a farm/forest economy to a diversified modern industrial economy; per capita income is now among the highest in Western Europe. A member of the Европейское сообщество since 1995, Финляндия was the only Nordic state to join the euro system at its initiation in January 1999.
Франция Although ultimately a victor in Мир Wars I и II, Франция suffered extensive losses in its empire, wealth, manpower, и rank as a dominant nation-state. Nevertheless, Франция today is один of the most modern countries in the world и is a leader among European nations. Since 1958, it has constructed a hybrid presidential-parliamentary governing system resistant to the instabilities experienced in earlier more purely parliamentary administrations. In recent лет, its reconciliation и cooperation with Германия have proved central to the economic integration of Europe, including the introduction of a common exchange currency, the euro, in January 1999. At present, Франция is at the forefront of efforts to develop the EU's military capabilities to supplement progress toward an EU foreign policy.
Французская Полинезия The French annexed various Polynesian island groups during the 19th century. In September 1995, Франция stirred up widespread protests by resuming nuclear testing on the Mururoa atoll после a three-year moratorium. The tests were suspended in January 1996. In recent лет, Французская Полинезия 's autonomy has been considerably expanded.
Французские Южные и Антарктические Территории In February 2007, the Iles Eparses became an integral part of the Французские Южные и Антарктические Территории (TAAF). The Southern Lands are now divided into five administrative districts, two of which are archipelagos, Iles Crozet и Iles Kerguelen; the third is a district composed of two volcanic islands, Ile Saint-Paul и Ile Amsterdam; the fourth, Iles Eparses, consists of five scattered tropical islands around Мадагаскар. They contain no permanent inhabitants и are visited only by researchers studying the native fauna, scientists at the various scientific stations, fishermen, и military personnel. The fifth district is the Antarctic portion, which consists of "Adelie Land," a thin slice of the Antarctic continent discovered и claimed by the French in 1840.
Ile Amsterdam: Discovered but not named in 1522 by the испанский, the island subsequently received the appellation of Nieuw Amsterdam from a Dutchman; it was claimed by Франция in 1843. A short-lived attempt at cattle фермерство began in 1871. A French meteorological station established on the island in 1949 is still in use.
Ile Saint Paul: Claimed by Франция since 1893, the island was a рыболовство industry center from 1843 to 1914. In 1928, a spiny lobster cannery was established, but when the company went bankrupt in 1931, seven workers were abandoned. Only two survived until 1934 when rescue finally arrived.
Iles Crozet: A large archipelago formed from the Crozet Plateau, Iles Crozet is divided into two main groups: L'Occidental (the West), which включая Ile aux Cochons, Ilots des Apotres, Ile des Pingouins, и the reefs Brisants de l'Heroine; и L'Oriental (the восток), which включая Ile d'Est и Ile de la Possession (the largest island of the Crozets). Discovered и claimed by Франция in 1772, the islands were used for seal hunting и as a base for whaling. Originally administered as a dependency Мадагаскара, they became part of the TAAF in 1955.
Iles Kerguelen: This island group, discovered in 1772, is made up of один large island (Ile Kerguelen) и about 300 smaller islands. A permanent group of 50 to 100 scientists resides at the main base at Port-aux-Francais.
Adelie Land: The only non-insular district of the TAAF is the Antarctic claim known as "Adelie Land." The US Правление does not recognize it as a French dependency.
Bassas da Индия: A French possession since 1897, this atoll is a volcanic rock surrounded by reefs и is awash at high tide.
Europa Island: This heavily wooded island has been a French possession since 1897; it is the site of a small military garrison that staffs a weather station.
Glorioso Islands: A French possession since 1892, the Glorioso Islands are composed of two lushly vegetated coral islands (Ile Glorieuse и Ile du Lys) и three rock islets. A military garrison operates a weather и radio station on Ile Glorieuse.
Juan de Nova Island: Named после a famous 15th century испанский navigator и explorer, the island has been a French possession since 1897. It has been exploited for its guano и phosphate. Presently a small military garrison oversees a meteorological station.
Tromelin Island: First explored by the French in 1776, the island came under the jurisdiction of Reunion in 1814. At present, it serves as a sea turtle sanctuary и is the site of an important meteorological station.
Габон Only two autocratic presidents have ruled Габон since independence from Франция in 1960. The current president Габона, El Hadj Omar BONGO Ondimba - один of the longest-serving heads of state in the world - has dominated the country's political scene for four decades. Президент BONGO introduced a nominal multiparty system и a new constitution in the early 1990s. However, allegations of electoral fraud during local elections in 2002-03 и the presidential elections in 2005 have exposed the weaknesses of formal political structures in Габон. Габон's political opposition remains weak, divided, и financially dependent on the current regime. Despite political conditions, a small population, abundant natural resources, и considerable foreign support have helped make Габон один of the more prosperous и stable African countries.
Гамбия The Gambia gained its independence from the Великобритания in 1965. Geographically surrounded by Сенегал , it formed a short-lived федерация of Senegambia between 1982 и 1989. In 1991 the two nations signed a friendship и cooperation treaty, but tensions have flared up intermittently since then. Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH led a military coup in 1994 that overthrew the president и banned political activity. A new constitution и presidential elections in 1996, followed by parliamentary balloting in 1997, completed a nominal return to civilian rule. JAMMEH has been elected president in all subsequent elections, including most recently in late 2006.
Сектор Газa The September 1993 Израиль-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Правление Arrangements provided for a transitional period of Palestinian self-rule in the Западный берег Иордании и Сектор Газa. Under a series of agreements signed between May 1994 и September 1999, Израиль transferred to the Palestinian Authority (PA) security и civilian responsibility for Palestinian-populated areas of the Западный берег Иордании и Gaza. Negotiations to determine the permanent status of the Западный берег Иордании и Gaza stalled following the outbreak of an intifada in September 2000, as Israeli forces reoccupied most Palestinian-controlled areas. In April 2003, the Quartet (US, EU, UN, и Россия) presented a roadmap to a final settlement of the conflict by 2005 based on reciprocal steps by the two parties leading to two states, Израиль и a democratic Palestine. The proposed date for a permanent status agreement was postponed indefinitely due to violence и accusations that both sides had not followed through on their commitments. Following Palestinian leader Yasir ARAFAT's death in late 2004, Mahmud ABBAS was elected PA president in January 2005. A month later, Израиль и the PA agreed to the Sharm el-Sheikh Commitments in an effort to move the peace process forward. In September 2005, Израиль unilaterally withdrew all its settlers и soldiers и dismantled its military facilities in the Сектор Газa и withdrew settlers и redeployed soldiers from four small northern Западный берег Иордании settlements. Nonetheless, Израиль controls maritime, airspace, и most access to the Сектор Газa. A November 2005 PA-Israeli agreement authorized the reopening of the Rafah border crossing between the Сектор Газa и Египет under joint PA и Egyptian control. In January 2006, the Islamic Resistance Movement, HAMAS, won control of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). The international community refused to accept the HAMAS-led government because it did not recognize Израиль, would not renounce violence, и refused to honor previous peace agreements between Израиль и the PA. HAMAS took control of the PA government in March 2006, but Президент ABBAS had little success negotiating with HAMAS to present a political platform acceptable to the international community so as to lift economic sanctions on Palestinians. The PLC was unable to convene throughout most of 2006 as a result Израиля's detention of many HAMAS PLC members и Israeli-imposed travel restrictions on other PLC members. Violent clashes took place between Fatah и HAMAS supporters in the Сектор Газa in 2006 и early 2007, resulting in numerous Palestinian deaths и injuries. ABBAS и HAMAS Political Bureau Chief MISHAL in February 2007 signed the Mecca Agreement in Саудовская Аравия that resulted in the formation of a Palestinian National Unity Правление (NUG) headed by HAMAS member Ismail HANIYA. However, fighting continued in the Сектор Газa, и in June, HAMAS militants succeeded in a violent takeover of all military и governmental institutions in the Сектор Газa. ABBAS dismissed the NUG и through a series of Presidential decrees formed a PA government in the Западный берег Иордании led by independent Salam FAYYAD. HAMAS rejected the NUG's dismissal и has called for resuming talks with Fatah, but ABBAS has ruled out negotiations until HAMAS agrees to a return of PA control over the Сектор Газa и recognizes the FAYYAD-led government. FAYYAD и his PA government initiated a series of security и economic reforms to improve conditions in the Западный берег Иордании. ABBAS participated in talks with Израиль's Премьер Министр OLMERT и secured the release of some Palestinian prisoners и previously withheld customs revenue. During a November 2007 international meeting in Annapolis Maryland, ABBAS и OLMERT agreed to resume peace negotiations with the goal of reaching a final peace settlement by the end of 2008.
Грузия The region of present-day Грузия contained the ancient kingdoms of Colchis и Kartli-Iberia. The area came under Roman influence in the first centuries A.D. и Christianity became the state religion in the 330s. Domination by Persians, Arabs, и Turks was followed by a Georgian golden age (11th-13th centuries) that was cut short by the Mongol invasion of 1236. Subsequently, the Ottoman и Persian empires competed for influence in the region. Грузия was absorbed into the Russian Empire in the 19th century. Independent for three лет (1918-1921) following the Russian revolution, it was forcibly incorporated into the USSR until the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. An attempt by the incumbent Georgian government to manipulate national legislative elections in November 2003 touched off widespread protests that led to the resignation of Eduard SHEVARDNADZE, president since 1995. New elections in early 2004 swept Mikheil SAAKASHVILI into power along with his National Movement party. Progress on market reforms и democratization has been made in the лет since independence, but this progress has been complicated by two ethnic conflicts in the breakaway regions of Abkhazia и South Ossetia. These two territories remain outside the control of the central government и are ruled by de facto, unrecognized governments, supported by Россия. Russian-led peacekeeping operations continue in both regions.
Германия As Europe's largest economy и second most populous nation, Германия is a key member of the continent's economic, political, и defense organizations. European power struggles immersed Германия in two devastating Мир Wars in the first half of the 20th century и left the country occupied by the victorious Allied powers of the US, Великобритания, Франция, и the Soviet Union in 1945. With the advent of the Cold War, two German states were formed in 1949: the western Federal Республика Германия (FRG) и the eastern German Democratic Republic (GDR). The democratic FRG embedded itself in key Western economic и security organizations, the EC, which became the EU, и NATO, while the Communist GDR was on the front line of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. The decline of the USSR и the end of the Cold War allowed for German unification in 1990. Since then, Германия has expended considerable funds to bring Eastern productivity и wages up to Western standards. In January 1999, Германия и 10 other EU countries introduced a common European exchange currency, the euro.
Гана Formed from the merger of the British colony of the Gold Coast и the Togoland trust territory, Гана in 1957 became the first sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to gain its independence. Гана endured a long series of coups before Lt. Jerry RAWLINGS took power in 1981 и banned political parties. After approving a new constitution и restoring multiparty politics in 1992, RAWLINGS won presidential elections in 1992 и 1996, but was constitutionally prevented from running for a third term in 2000. John KUFUOR succeeded him и was reelected in 2004. Kufuor is constitutionally barred from running for a third term in upcoming Presidential elections, which are scheduled for December 2008.
Гибралтар: заморская территория Великобритании Strategically important, Гибралтар: заморская территория Великобритании was reluctantly ceded to Great Britain by Испания in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht; the British garrison was formally declared a colony in 1830. In a referendum held in 1967, Gibraltarians voted overwhelmingly to remain a British dependency. The subsequent granting of autonomy in 1969 by the Великобритания led to Испания closing the border и severing all communication links. A series of talks were held by the Великобритания и Испания between 1997 и 2002 on establishing temporary joint sovereignty over Гибралтар: заморская территория Великобритании. In response to these talks, the Гибралтар: заморская территория Великобритании Правление called a referendum in late 2002 in which the majority of citizens voted overwhelmingly against any sharing of sovereignty with Испания. Since the referendum, tripartite talks on other issues have been held with Испания, the Великобритания, и Гибралтар: заморская территория Великобритании, и in September 2006 a three-way agreement was signed. Испания agreed to remove restrictions on air movements, to speed up customs procedures, to implement international telephone dialing, и to allow mobile roaming agreements. Britain agreed to pay increased pensions to Spaniards who had been employed in Гибралтар: заморская территория Великобритании before the border closed. Испания will be allowed to open a cultural institute from which the испанский flag will fly. A new noncolonial constitution came into effect in 2007, but the Великобритания retains responsibility for defense, foreign relations, internal security, и financial stability.
Греция Греция achieved independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1829. During the second half of the 19th century и the first half of the 20th century, it gradually added neighboring islands и territories, most with Greek-speaking populations. In Мир War II, Греция was first invaded by Италия (1940) и subsequently occupied by Германия (1941-44); fighting endured in a protracted civil war between supporters of the king и Communist rebels. Following the latter's defeat in 1949, Греция joined NATO in 1952. A military dictatorship, which in 1967 suspended many political liberties и forced the king to flee the country, lasted seven лет. The 1974 democratic elections и a referendum created a parliamentary republic и abolished the monarchy. In 1981, Греция joined the EC (now the EU); it became the 12th member of the European Economic и Monetary Union in 2001.
Гренландия Гренландия, the world's largest island, is about 81% ice-capped. Vikings reached the island in the 10th century from Исландия; Danish colonization began in the 18th century, и Гренландия was made an integral part Дании in 1953. It joined the European Community (now the EU) with Дания in 1973, but withdrew in 1985 over a dispute centered on stringent рыболовство quotas. Гренландия was granted self-government in 1979 by the Danish parliament; the law went into effect the following year. Дания continues to exercise control Гренландии's foreign affairs in consultation with Гренландия's На главную Rule Правление.
Гренада Carib Indians inhabited Гренада when COLUMBUS discovered the island in 1498, but it remained uncolonized for more than a century. The French settled Гренада in the 17th century, established sugar estates, и imported large numbers of African slaves. Britain took the island in 1762 и vigorously expanded sugar production. In the 19th century, cacao eventually surpassed sugar as the main export crop; in the 20th century, nutmeg became the leading export. In 1967, Britain gave Гренада autonomy over its internal affairs. Full independence was attained in 1974, making Гренада один of the smallest independent countries in the Western Hemisphere. Гренада was seized by a Marxist military council on 19 October 1983. Six days later the island was invaded by US forces и those of six other Caribbean nations, which quickly captured the ringleaders и their hundreds of Cuban advisers. Free elections were reinstituted the following year и have continued since that time. Hurricane Ivan struck Гренада in September of 2004 causing severe damage.
Гуам Гуам was ceded to the US by Испания in 1898. Captured by the Japanese in 1941, it was retaken by the US three лет later. The military installation on the island is один of the most strategically important US bases in the Pacific.
Гватемала The Mayan civilization flourished in Гватемала и surrounding regions during the first millennium A.D. After almost three centuries as a испанский colony, Гватемала won its independence in 1821. During the second half of the 20th century, it experienced a variety of military и civilian governments, as well as a 36-year guerrilla war. In 1996, the government signed a peace agreement formally ending the conflict, which had left more than 100,000 people dead и had created, by some estimates, some 1 миллионов беженцы.
Гернси: коронная земля Великобритании Гернси: коронная земля Великобритании и the other Channel Islands represent the last remnants of the medieval Dukedom of Normandy, which held sway in both Франция и England. The islands were the only British soil occupied by German troops in Мир War II. Гернси: коронная земля Великобритании is a British crown dependency, but is not part of the Великобритания. However, the Великобритания Правление is constitutionally responsible for its defense и international representation.
Гвинея Гвинея has had only two presidents since gaining its independence from Франция in 1958. Lansana CONTE came to power in 1984 when the military seized the government после the death of the first president, Sekou TOURE. Гвинея did not hold democratic elections until 1993 when Gen. CONTE (head of the military government) was elected president of the civilian government. He was reelected in 1998 и again in 2003, though all the polls have been marred by irregularities. Гвинея has maintained its internal stability despite spillover effects from conflict in Сьерра-Леоне и Либерия. As those countries have rebuilt, Гвинея's own vulnerability to political и economic crisis has increased. Declining economic conditions и popular dissatisfaction with corruption и bad governance prompted two massive strikes in 2006; a third nationwide strike in early 2007 sparked violent protests in many Guinean cities и prompted two weeks of martial law. To appease the unions и end the unrest, CONTE named a new prime minister in March 2007.
Гвинея-Бисау Since independence from Португалия in 1974, Гвинея-Бисау has experienced considerable political и military upheaval. In 1980, a military coup established authoritarian dictator Joao Bernardo 'Nino' VIEIRA as president. Despite setting a path to a market economy и multiparty system, VIEIRA's regime was characterized by the suppression of political opposition и the purging of political rivals. Several coup attempts through the 1980s и early 1990s failed to unseat him. In 1994 VIEIRA was elected president in the country's first free elections. A military mutiny и resulting civil war in 1998 eventually led to VIEIRA's ouster in May 1999. In February 2000, a transitional government turned over power to opposition leader Kumba YALA, после he was elected president in transparent polling. In September 2003, после only three лет in office, YALA was ousted by the military in a bloodless coup, и businessman Henrique ROSA was sworn in as interim president. In 2005, former Президент VIEIRA was re-elected president pledging to pursue economic development и national reconciliation.
Гвиана Originally a Dutch colony in the 17th century, by 1815 Гвиана had become a British possession. The abolition of slavery led to черные settlement of urban areas и the importation of indentured servants from Индия to work the sugar plantations. This ethnocultural divide has persisted и has led to turbulent politics. Гвиана achieved independence from the Великобритания in 1966, и since then it has been ruled mostly by socialist-oriented governments. In 1992, Cheddi JAGAN was elected president in what is considered the country's first free и fair election since independence. After his death five лет later, his wife, Janet JAGAN, became president but resigned in 1999 due to poor health. Her successor, Bharrat JAGDEO, was reelected in 2001 и again in 2006.
Гаити The native Taino Amerindians - who inhabited the island of Hispaniola when it was discovered by COLUMBUS in 1492 - were virtually annihilated by испанский settlers within 25 лет. In the early 17th century, the French established a presence on Hispaniola, и in 1697, Испания ceded to the French the western third of the island, which later became Гаити. The French colony, based on лесоводство и sugar-related industries, became один of the wealthiest in the Caribbean, but only through the heavy importation of African slaves и considerable environmental degradation. In the late 18th century, Гаити's nearly half миллионов slaves revolted under Toussaint L'OUVERTURE. After a prolonged struggle, Гаити became the first черные republic to declare its independence in 1804. The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Гаити has been plagued by political violence for most of its history. After an armed rebellion led to the forced resignation и exile of Президент Jean-Bertrand ARISTIDE in February 2004, an interim government took office to organize new elections under the auspices of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Гаити (MINUSTAH). Continued violence и технический персонал delays prompted repeated postponements, but Гаити finally did inaugurate a democratically elected president и parliament in May of 2006.
Острова Хэрда и МакДональда These uninhabited, barren, sub-Antarctic islands were transferred from the Великобритания to Австралия in 1947. Populated by large numbers of seal и bird species, the islands have been designated a nature preserve.
Ватикан Popes in their secular role ruled portions of the Italian peninsula for more than a thousand лет until the mid 19th century, when many of the Papal States were seized by the newly united Kingdom Италии. In 1870, the pope's holdings were further circumscribed when Rome itself was annexed. Disputes between a series of "prisoner" popes и Италия were resolved in 1929 by three Lateran Treaties, which established the independent state of Vatican City и granted Roman Catholicism special status in Италия. In 1984, a concordat between the Holy See и Италия modified certain of the earlier treaty provisions, including the primacy of Roman Catholicism as the Italian state religion. Present concerns of the Holy See include religious freedom, international development, the environment, the Middle East, Китай, the decline of religion in Europe, terrorism, interreligious dialogue и reconciliation, и the application of church doctrine in an era of rapid change и globalization. About один миллиардов: people worldwide profess the Catholic faith.
Гондурас Once part Испании's vast empire in the New Мир, Гондурас became an independent nation in 1821. After two и a half decades of mostly military rule, a freely elected civilian government came to power in 1982. During the 1980s, Гондурас proved a haven for anti-Sandinista contras fighting the Marxist Nicaraguan Правление и an ally to Salvadoran Правление forces fighting leftist guerrillas. The country was devastated by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, which killed about 5,600 people и caused approximately $2 миллиардов: in damage.
Гонконг Occupied by the Великобритания in 1841, Гонконг was formally ceded by Китай the following year; various adjacent lands were added later in the 19th century. Pursuant to an agreement signed by Китай и the Великобритания on 19 December 1984, Гонконг became the Гонконг Special Administrative Region (SAR) Китая on 1 July 1997. In this agreement, Китай promised that, under its "один country, two systems" formula, Китай's socialist economic system would not be imposed on Гонконг и that Гонконг would enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign и defense affairs for the next 50 лет.
Венгрия Венгрия became a Christian kingdom in A.D. 1000 и for many centuries served as a bulwark against Ottoman Turkish expansion in Europe. The kingdom eventually became part of the polyglot Austro-Hungarian Empire, which collapsed during Мир War I. The country fell under Communist rule following Мир War II. In 1956, a revolt и an announced withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact were met with a massive military intervention by Moscow. Under the leadership of Janos KADAR in 1968, Венгрия began liberalizing its economy, introducing so-called "Goulash Communism." Венгрия held its first multiparty elections in 1990 и initiated a free market economy. It joined NATO in 1999 и the EU in 2004.
Исландия Settled by Norwegian и Celtic (Scottish и Irish) immigrants during the late 9th и 10th centuries A.D., Исландия boasts the world's oldest functioning legislative assembly, the Althing, established in 930. Independent for over 300 лет, Исландия was subsequently ruled by Норвегия и Дания. Fallout from the Askja volcano of 1875 devastated the Icelandic economy и caused widespread famine. Over the next quarter century, 20% of the island's population emigrated, mostly to Канада и the US. Limited home rule from Дания was granted in 1874 и complete independence attained in 1944. Словесная грамотность, longevity, income, и social cohesion are first-rate by world standards.
Индия Aryan tribes from the northwest infiltrated onto the Indian subcontinent about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier Dravidian inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. The Maurya Empire of the 4th и 3rd centuries B.C. - which reached its zenith under ASHOKA - united much of South Азия. The Golden Age ushered in by the Gupta dynasty (4th to 6th centuries A.D.) saw a flowering of Indian science, art, и culture. Arab incursions starting in the 8th century и Turkic in the 12th were followed by those of European traders, beginning in the late 15th century. By the 19th century, Britain had assumed political control of virtually all Indian lands. Indian armed forces in the British army played a vital role in both Мир Wars. Nonviolent resistance to British colonialism led by Mohandas GANDHI и Jawaharlal NEHRU brought independence in 1947. The subcontinent was divided into the secular state Индии и the smaller мусульмане state Пакистана. A third war between the two countries in 1971 resulted in East Пакистан becoming the separate nation Бангладеша. Индия's nuclear weapons testing in 1998 caused Пакистан to conduct its own tests that same year. The dispute between the countries over the state of Kashmir is ongoing, but discussions и confidence-building measures have led to decreased tensions since 2002. Despite impressive gains in economic investment и output, Индия faces pressing problems such as significant overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, и ethnic и religious strife.
Индийский океан The Индийский океан is the third largest of the world's five oceans (после the Тихий океан и Атлантический океан, but larger than the Южный океан и Артический океан). Four critically important access waterways are the Suez Canal (Египет), Bab el Mandeb (Джибути-Емен), Strait of Hormuz (Иран-Оман), и Strait of Malacca (Индонeзия-Малазия). The decision by the Международные Hydrographic Organization in the spring of 2000 to delimit a fifth ocean, the Южный океан, removed the portion of the Индийский океан юг of 60 degrees юг latitude.
Индонeзия The Dutch began to colonize Индонeзия in the early 17th century; the islands were occupied by Япония from 1942 to 1945. Индонeзия declared its independence после Япония's surrender, but it required four лет of intermittent negotiations, recurring hostilities, и UN mediation before the Нидерланды agreed to relinquish its colony. Индонeзия is the world's largest archipelagic state и home to the world's largest мусульмане population. Current issues include: alleviating poverty, preventing terrorism, consolidating democracy после four decades of authoritarianism, implementing financial sector reforms, stemming corruption, holding the military и police accountable for human rights violations, и controlling avian influenza. In 2005, Индонeзия reached a historic peace agreement with armed separatists in Aceh, which led to democratic elections in December 2006. Индонeзия continues to face a low intensity separatist movement in Papua.
Иран Known as Persia until 1935, Иран became an Islamic republic in 1979 после the ruling monarchy was overthrown и the shah was forced into exile. Conservative clerical forces established a theocratic system of government with ultimate political authority vested in a learned religious scholar referred to commonly as the Supreme Leader who, according to the constitution, is accountable only to the Assembly of Experts. US-Iranian relations have been strained since a group of Iranian students seized the US Embassy in Tehran on 4 November 1979 и held it until 20 January 1981. During 1980-88, Иран fought a bloody, indecisive war with Ирак that eventually expanded into the Persian Gulf и led to clashes between US Navy и Iranian military forces between 1987 и 1988. Иран has been designated a state sponsor of terrorism for its activities in Ливан и elsewhere in the world и remains subject to US и UN economic sanctions и export controls because of its continued involvement in terrorism и conventional weapons proliferation. Following the election of reformer Hojjat ol-Eslam Mohammad KHATAMI as president in 1997 и similarly a reformer Majles (parliament) in 2000, a campaign to foster political reform in response to popular dissatisfaction was initiated. The movement floundered as conservative politicians, through the control of unelected institutions, prevented reform measures from being enacted и increased repressive measures. Starting with nationwide municipal elections in 2003 и continuing through Majles elections in 2004, conservatives reestablished control over Иран's elected government institutions, which culminated with the August 2005 inauguration of hardliner Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD as president. In December 2006 и March 2007, the international community passed resolutions 1737 и 1747 respectively после Иран failed to comply with UN demands to halt the enrichment of уран или to agree to full IAEA oversight of its nuclear program. In October 2007, Iranian entities were also subject to US sanctions under EO 13382 designations for proliferation activities и EO 13224 designations for providing material support to the Taliban и other terrorist organizations.
Ирак Formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, Ирак was occupied by Britain during the course Мира War I; in 1920, it was declared a League of Nations mandate under Великобритания administration. In stages over the next dozen лет, Ирак attained its independence as a kingdom in 1932. A "republic" was proclaimed in 1958, but in actuality a series of military strongmen ruled the country until 2003. The last was SADDAM Husayn. Territorial disputes with Иран led to an inconclusive и costly eight-year war (1980-88). In August 1990, Ирак seized Кювейт but was expelled by US-led, UN coalition forces during the Gulf War of January-February 1991. Following Кювейт's liberation, the UN Security Council (UNSC) required Ирак to scrap all weapons of mass destruction и long-range missiles и to allow UN verification inspections. Continued Iraqi noncompliance with UNSC resolutions over a period of 12 лет led to the US-led invasion Ирака in March 2003 и the ouster of the SADDAM Husayn regime. Coalition forces remain in Ирак under a UNSC mandate, helping to provide security и to support the freely elected government. The Coalition Provisional Authority, which temporarily administered Ирак после the invasion, transferred full governmental authority on 28 June 2004 to the Iraqi Interim Правление, which governed under the Transitional Administrative Law for Ирак (TAL). Under the TAL, elections for a 275-member Transitional National Assembly (TNA) were held in Ирак on 30 January 2005. Following these elections, the Iraqi Transitional Правление (ITG) assumed office. The TNA was charged with drafting Ирак's permanent constitution, which was approved in a 15 October 2005 constitutional referendum. An election under the constitution for a 275-member Council of Representatives (CoR) was held on 15 December 2005. The CoR approval in the selection of most of the cabinet ministers on 20 May 2006 marked the transition from the ITG to Ирак's first constitutional government in nearly a half-century.
Ирландия Celtic tribes arrived on the island between 600-150 B.C. Invasions by Norsemen that began in the late 8th century were finally ended when King Brian BORU defeated the Danes in 1014. английский invasions began in the 12th century и set off more than seven centuries of Anglo-Irish struggle marked by fierce rebellions и harsh repressions. A failed 1916 Easter Monday Rebellion touched off several лет of guerrilla warfare that in 1921 resulted in independence from the Великобритания for 26 southern counties; six northern (Ulster) counties remained part of the Великобритания. In 1949, Ирландия withdrew from the British Commonwealth; it joined the European Community in 1973. Irish governments have sought the peaceful unification Ирландии и have cooperated with Britain against terrorist groups. A peace settlement for Northern Ирландия is being implemented with some difficulties. In 2006, the Irish и British governments developed и began to implement the St. Andrews Agreement, building on the Good Friday Agreement approved in 1998.
Остров Мэн Part of the Norwegian Kingdom of the Hebrides until the 13th century when it was ceded to Scotland, the isle came under the British crown in 1765. Current concerns include reviving the almost extinct Manx Gaelic language. Остров Мэн is a British crown dependency but is not part of the Великобритания. However, the Великобритания Правление remains constitutionally responsible for its defense и international representation.
Израиль Following Мир War II, the British withdrew from their mandate of Palestine, и the UN partitioned the area into Arab и иудаисты states, an arrangement rejected by the Arabs. Subsequently, the Israelis defeated the Arabs in a series of wars without ending the deep tensions between the two sides. The territories Израиль occupied since the 1967 war are not included in the Израиль country profile, unless otherwise noted. On 25 April 1982, Израиль withdrew from the Sinai pursuant to the 1979 Израиль-Египет Peace Treaty. In keeping with the framework established at the Madrid Conference in October 1991, bilateral negotiations were conducted between Израиль и Palestinian representatives и Сирия to achieve a permanent settlement. Израиль и Palestinian officials signed on 13 September 1993 a Declaration of Principles (also known as the "Oslo Accords") guiding an interim period of Palestinian self-rule. Outstanding territorial и other disputes with Иордания were resolved in the 26 October 1994 Израиль-Иордания Treaty of Peace. In addition, on 25 May 2000, Израиль withdrew unilaterally from southern Ливан, which it had occupied since 1982. In April 2003, US Президент BUSH, working in conjunction with the EU, UN, и Россия - the "Quartet" - took the свинец in laying out a roadmap to a final settlement of the conflict by 2005, based on reciprocal steps by the two parties leading to two states, Израиль и a democratic Palestine. However, progress toward a permanent status agreement was undermined by Israeli-Palestinian violence between September 2003 и February 2005. An Israeli-Palestinian agreement reached at Sharm al-Sheikh in February 2005, along with an internally-brokered Palestinian ceasefire, significantly reduced the violence. In the summer of 2005, Израиль unilaterally disengaged from the Сектор Газa, evacuating settlers и its military while retaining control over most points of entry into the Сектор Газa. The election of HAMAS in January 2006 to head the Palestinian Legislative Council froze relations between Израиль и the Palestinian Authority (PA). Ehud OLMERT became prime minister in March 2006; following an Israeli military operation in Gaza in June-July 2006 и a 34-day conflict with Hizballah in Ливан in June-August 2006, he shelved plans to unilaterally evacuate from most of the Западный берег Иордании. OLMERT in June 2007 resumed talks with the PA после HAMAS seized control of the Сектор Газa и PA Президент Mahmoud ABBAS formed a new government without HAMAS.
Италия Италия became a nation-state in 1861 when the regional states of the peninsula, along with Sardinia и Sicily, were united under King Victor EMMANUEL II. An era of parliamentary government came to a close in the early 1920s when Benito MUSSOLINI established a Fascist dictatorship. His alliance with Nazi Германия led to Италия's defeat in Мир War II. A democratic republic replaced the monarchy in 1946 и economic revival followed. Италия was a charter member of NATO и the European Economic Community (EEC). It has been at the forefront of European economic и political unification, joining the Economic и Monetary Union in 1999. Persistent problems include illegal immigration, organized crime, corruption, high unemployment, sluggish economic growth, и the low incomes и технический персонал standards of southern Италия compared with the prosperous север.
Ямайка The island - discovered by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1494 - was settled by the испанский early in the 16th century. The native Taino Indians, who had inhabited Ямайка for centuries, were gradually exterminated и replaced by African slaves. England seized the island in 1655 и established a plantation economy based on sugar, cocoa, и coffee. The abolition of slavery in 1834 freed a quarter миллионов slaves, many of whom became small farmers. Ямайка gradually obtained increasing independence from Britain, и in 1958 it joined other British Caribbean colonies in forming the Federation of the West Indies. Ямайка gained full independence when it withdrew from the Federation in 1962. Deteriorating economic conditions during the 1970s led to recurrent violence as rival gangs affiliated with the major political parties evolved into powerful organized crime networks involved in international drug smuggling и money laundering. Violent crime, drug trafficking, и poverty pose significant challenges to the government today. Nonetheless, many rural и resort areas remain relatively safe и contribute substantially to the economy.
Ян-Майен This desolate, arctic, mountainous island was named после a Dutch whaling captain who indisputably discovered it in 1614 (earlier claims are inconclusive). Visited only occasionally by seal hunters и trappers over the following centuries, the island came under Norwegian sovereignty in 1929. The long dormant Haakon VII Toppen/Beerenberg volcano resumed activity in 1970; the most recent eruption occurred in 1985. It is the northernmost active volcano on earth.
Япония In 1603, a Tokugawa shogunate (military dictatorship) ushered in a long period of isolation from foreign influence in order to secure its power. For more than two centuries this policy enabled Япония to enjoy stability и a flowering of its indigenous culture. Following the Treaty of Kanagawa with the US in 1854, Япония opened its ports и began to intensively modernize и industrialize. During the late 19th и early 20th centuries, Япония became a regional power that was able to defeat the forces of both Китай и Россия. It occupied Korea, Formosa (Тайвань), и southern Sakhalin Island. In 1931-32 Япония occupied Manchuria, и in 1937 it launched a full-scale invasion Китая. Япония attacked US forces in 1941 - triggering America's entry into Мир War II - и soon occupied much of East и Southeast Азия. After its defeat in Мир War II, Япония recovered to become an economic power и a staunch ally of the US. While the emperor retains his throne as a symbol of national unity, elected politicians - with heavy input from bureaucrats и business executives - wield actual decisionmaking power. The economy experienced a major slowdown starting in the 1990s following three decades of unprecedented growth, but Япония still remains a major economic power, both in Азия и globally.
Джерси: коронная земля Великобритании Джерси: коронная земля Великобритании и the other Channel Islands represent the last remnants of the medieval Dukedom of Normandy that held sway in both Франция и England. These islands were the only British soil occupied by German troops in Мир War II. Джерси: коронная земля Великобритании is a British crown dependency but is not part of the Великобритания. However, the Великобритания Правление is constitutionally responsible for its defense и international representation.
Иордания Following Мир War I и the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the Великобритания received a mandate to govern much of the Middle East. Britain separated out a semi-autonomous region of Transjordan from Palestine in the early 1920s, и the area gained its independence in 1946; it adopted the name Иордании in 1950. The country's long-time ruler was King HUSSEIN (1953-99). A pragmatic leader, he successfully navigated competing pressures from the major powers (US, USSR, и Великобритания), various Arab states, Израиль, и a large internal Palestinian population, despite several wars и coup attempts. In 1989 he reinstituted parliamentary elections и gradual political liberalization; in 1994 he signed a peace treaty with Израиль. King ABDALLAH II, the son of King HUSSEIN, assumed the throne following his father's death in February 1999. Since then, he has consolidated his power и undertaken an aggressive economic reform program. Иордания acceded to the Мир Trade Organization in 2000, и began to participate in the European Free Trade Association in 2001. Municipal elections were held in July 2007 under a system in which 20% of seats in all municipal councils were reserved by quota for women. Parliamentary elections were held in November 2007 и saw independent pro-government candidates win the vast majority of seats. In November 2007, King Abdallah instructed his new prime minister to focus on socioeconomic reform, developing a healthcare и housing network for civilians и military personnel, и improving the educational system.
Казахстан Native Kazakhs, a mix of Turkic и Mongol nomadic tribes who migrated into the region in the 13th century, were rarely united as a single nation. The area was conquered by Россия in the 18th century, и Казахстан became a Soviet Republic in 1936. During the 1950s и 1960s agricultural "Virgin Lands" program, Soviet citizens were encouraged to help cultivate Казахстан's northern pastures. This influx of immigrants (mostly Russians, but also some other deported nationalities) skewed the ethnic mixture и enabled non-Kazakhs to outnumber natives. Independence in 1991 caused many of these newcomers to emigrate. Казахстан's economy is larger than those of all the other Central азиаты states combined, largely due to the country's vast natural resources и a recent history of political stability. Current issues include: developing a cohesive national identity; expanding the development of the country's vast энергия resources и exporting them to world markets; achieving a sustainable economic growth; diversifying the economy outside the нефть, газ, и добыча полезных ископаемых sectors; enhancing Казахстан's competitiveness; и strengthening relations with neighboring states и other foreign powers.
Кения Founding president и liberation struggle icon Jomo KENYATTA led Кения from independence in 1963 until his death in 1978, when Президент Daniel Toroitich arap MOI took power in a constitutional succession. The country was a de facto один-party state from 1969 until 1982 when the ruling Кения African National Union (KANU) made itself the sole legal party in Кения. MOI acceded to internal и external pressure for political liberalization in late 1991. The ethnically fractured opposition failed to dislodge KANU from power in elections in 1992 и 1997, which were marred by violence и fraud, but were viewed as having generally reflected the will of the Kenyan people. Президент MOI stepped down in December 2002 following fair и peaceful elections. Mwai KIBAKI, running as the candidate of the multiethnic, united opposition group, the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), defeated KANU candidate Uhuru KENYATTA и assumed the presidency following a campaign centered on an anticorruption platform. KIBAKI's NARC coalition splintered in 2005 over the constitutional review process. Правление defectors joined with KANU to form a new opposition coalition, the Orange Democratic Movement, which defeated the government's draft constitution in a popular referendum in November 2005. KIBAKI's reelection in December 2007 brought charges of vote rigging from ODM candidate Raila ODINGA и unleashed two months of violence in which as many as 1,500 people died. UN-sponsored talks in late February produced a powersharing accord bringing ODINGA into the government in the restored position of prime minister.
Кирибати The Gilbert Islands were granted self-rule by the Великобритания in 1971 и complete independence in 1979 under the new name Кирибати. The US relinquished all claims to the sparsely inhabited Phoenix и Line Island groups in a 1979 treaty of friendship with Кирибати.
Северная Корея An independent kingdom for much of its long history, Korea was occupied by Япония in 1905 following the Russo-Japanese War. Five лет later, Япония formally annexed the entire peninsula. Following Мир War II, Korea was split with the northern half coming under Soviet-sponsored Communist domination. After failing in the Korean War (1950-53) to conquer the US-backed Республика Korea (ROK) in the southern portion by force, Северный Korea (DPRK), under its founder Президент KIM Il Sung, adopted a policy of ostensible diplomatic и economic "self-reliance" as a check against excessive Soviet или Communist Chinese influence. The DPRK demonized the US as the ultimate threat to its social system through state-funded propaganda, и molded political, economic, и military policies around the core ideological objective of eventual unification of Korea under Pyongyang's control. KIM's son, the current ruler KIM Jong Il, was officially designated as his father's successor in 1980, assuming a growing political и управляющие role until the elder KIM's death in 1994. After decades of economic mismanagement и resource misallocation, the DPRK since the mid-1990s has relied heavily on international aid to feed its population while continuing to expend resources to maintain an army of approximately 1 миллионов. Северный Korea's history of regional military provocations, proliferation of military-related items, и long-range missile development - as well as its nuclear, chemical, и biological weapons programs и massive conventional armed forces - are of major concern to the international community. In December 2002, following revelations that the DPRK was pursuing a nuclear weapons program based on enriched уран in violation of a 1994 agreement with the US to freeze и ultimately dismantle its existing plutonium-based program, Северный Korea expelled monitors from the Международные Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In January 2003, it declared its withdrawal from the international Non-Proliferation Treaty. In mid-2003 Pyongyang announced it had completed the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel rods (to extract weapons-grade plutonium) и was developing a "nuclear deterrent." Beginning in August 2003, Северный Korea, Китай, Япония, Россия, South Korea, и the US have participated in the Six-Party Talks aimed at resolving the stalemate over the DPRK's nuclear programs. Северный Korea pulled out of the talks in November 2005. It test-fired ballistic missiles in July 2006 и conducted a nuclear test in October 2006. Северный Korea returned to the Six-Party Talks in December 2006 и subsequently signed two agreements on denuclearization. The 13 February 2007 Initial Actions Agreement shut down the Северный's nuclear facilities at Yongbyon in July 2007. In the 3 October 2007 Second Phase Actions Agreement, Pyongyang pledged to disable those facilities и provide a correct и complete declaration of its nuclear programs. Under the supervision of US nuclear experts, Северный Korean personnel completed a number of agreed-upon disablement actions at the three core facilities at the Yongbyon nuclear complex by the end of 2007. Северный Korea also began the discharge of spent fuel rods in December 2007, but it did not provide a declaration of its nuclear programs by the end of the year.
Южная Корея An independent Korean state или collection of states has existed almost continuously for several millennia. Between its initial unification in the 7th century - from three predecessor Korean states - until the 20th century, Korea existed as a single independent country. In 1905, following the Russo-Japanese War, Korea became a protectorate of imperial Япония, и in 1910 it was annexed as a colony. Korea regained its independence following Япония's surrender to the США in 1945. After Мир War II, a Республика Korea (ROK) was set up in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula while a Communist-style government was installed in the север (the DPRK). During the Korean War (1950-53), US troops и UN forces fought alongside soldiers from the ROK to defend South Korea from DPRK attacks supported by Китай и the Soviet Union. An armistice was signed in 1953, splitting the peninsula along a demilitarized zone at about the 38th parallel. Thereafter, South Korea achieved rapid economic growth with per capita income rising to roughly 14 times the level of Северный Korea. In 1993, KIM Young-sam became South Korea's first civilian president following 32 лет of military rule. South Korea today is a fully functioning modern democracy. In June 2000, a historic first Северный-South summit took place between the South's Президент KIM Dae-jung и the Северный's leader KIM Jong Il. In October 2007, a second Северный-South summit took place between the South's Президент ROH Moo-hyun и the Северный Korean leader.
Косовo Serbs migrated to the territories of modern Косовo in the 7th century but did not fully incorporate them into the Serbian realm until the early 13th century. The Serbian defeat at the Battle Косовo in 1389 led to five centuries of Ottoman rule during which large numbers of Turks и Albanians moved to Косовo. By the end of the 19th century, Albanians replaced the Serbs as the dominant ethnic group in Косовo. Сербия reacquired control over Косовo from the Ottoman Empire during the First Balkan War (1912). After Мир War II (1945), the government of the Socialist Federal Республика Yugoslavia led by Josip TITO reorganized Косовo as an autonomous province within the constituent republic Сербии. Over the next four decades, Косовo Albanians lobbied for greater autonomy, и Косовo was granted the status almost equal to that of a republic in the 1974 Yugoslav Constitution. Despite the legislative concessions, Albanian nationalism increased in the 1980s leading to nationalist riots и calls for Косовo's independence. Serbs in Косовo complained of mistreatment и Serb nationalist leaders, such as Slobodan MILOSEVIC, exploited those charges to win support among Serbian voters many of whom viewed Косовo as their cultural heartland. Under MILOSEVIC's leadership, Сербия instituted a new constitution in 1989 that drastically curtailed Косовo's autonomy. Косовo Albanian leaders responded in 1991 by organizing a referendum that declared Косовo independent from Сербия. The MILOSEVIC regime carried out repressive measures against the Albanians in the early 1990s as the unofficial government Косовo, led by Ibrahim RUGOVA, tried to use passive resistance to gain international assistance и recognition of its demands for independence. In 1995, Albanians dissatisfied with RUGOVA's nonviolent strategy created the Косовo Liberation Army и launched an insurgency. In 1998, MILOSEVIC authorized a counterinsurgency campaign that resulted in massacres и massive expulsions of ethnic Albanians by Serbian military, police, и paramilitary forces. The international community tried to resolve the conflict peacefully, but MILOSEVIC rejected the proposed international settlement - the Rambouillet Accords - leading to a three-month NATO bombing Сербии beginning in March 1999, which forced Сербия to withdraw its military и police forces from Косовo in June 1999. UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) placed Косовo under a transitional administration, the UN Interim Administration Mission in Косовo (UNMIK), pending a determination Косовo's future status. Under the resolution, Сербия's territorial integrity was protected, but it was UNMIK that assumed responsibility for governing Косовo. In 2001, UNMIK promulgated a Constitutional Framework, which established Косовo's Provisional Institutions of Self-Правление (PISG). In succeeding лет UNMIK increasingly devolved responsibilities to the PISG. A UN-led process began in late 2005 to determine Косовo's future status. Negotiations held intermittently between 2006 и 2007 on issues related to decentralization, religious heritage, и minority rights failed to yield a resolution between Сербия's willingness to grant a high degree of autonomy и the Albanians' call for full independence for Косовo. On 17 February 2008, the Косовo Assembly declared its independence from Сербия.
Кювейт Britain oversaw foreign relations и defense for the ruling Kuwaiti AL-SABAH dynasty from 1899 until independence in 1961. Кювейт was attacked и overrun by Ирак on 2 August 1990. Following several weeks of aerial bombardment, a US-led, UN coalition began a ground assault on 23 February 1991 that liberated Кювейт in four days. Кювейт spent more than $5 миллиардов: to repair нефть infrastructure damaged during 1990-91. The AL-SABAH family has ruled since returning to power in 1991 и reestablished an elected legislature that in recent лет has become increasingly assertive.
Киргизия A Central азиаты country of incredible natural beauty и proud nomadic traditions, most Киргизии was formally annexed to Россия in 1876. The Kyrgyz staged a major revolt against the Tsarist Empire in 1916 in which almost один-sixth of the Kyrgyz population was killed. Киргизия became a Soviet republic in 1936 и achieved independence in 1991 when the USSR dissolved. Nationwide demonstrations in the spring of 2005 resulted in the ouster of Президент Askar AKAYEV, who had run the country since 1990. Subsequent presidential elections in July 2005 were won overwhelmingly by former prime minister Kurmanbek BAKIEV. The political opposition organized demonstrations in Bishkek in April, May, и November 2006 resulting in the adoption of a new constitution that transferred some of the president's powers to parliament и the government. In December 2006, the Kyrgyz parliament voted to adopt new amendments, restoring some of the presidential powers lost in the November 2006 constitutional change. By late-September 2007, both previous versions of the constitution were declared illegal, и the country reverted to the AKAYEV-era 2003 constitution, which was subsequently modified in a flawed referendum initiated by BAKIEV. The president then dissolved parliament, called for early elections, и gained control of the new parliament through his newly-created political party, Ak Jol, in December 2007 elections. Current concerns include: privatization of state-owned enterprises, negative trends in democracy и political freedoms, reduction of corruption, improving interethnic relations, и combating terrorism.
Лаоc Modern-day Лаоc has its roots in the ancient Lao kingdom of Lan Xang, established in the 14th Century under King FA NGUM. For 300 лет Lan Xang had influence reaching into present-day Камбоджа и Таиланд, as well as over all of what is now Лаоc. After centuries of gradual decline, Лаоc came under the domination of Siam (Таиланд) from the late 18th century until the late 19th century when it became part of French Indochina. The Franco-Siamese Treaty of 1907 defined the current Lao border with Таиланд. In 1975, the Communist Pathet Lao took control of the government ending a six-century-old monarchy и instituting a strict socialist regime closely aligned to Вьетнам. A gradual return to private enterprise и the liberalization of foreign investment laws began in 1986. Лаоc became a member of ASEAN in 1997.
Латвия The name "Латвия" originates from the ancient Latgalians, один of four eastern Baltic tribes that formed the ethnic core of the Latvian people (ca. 8th-12th centuries A.D.). The region subsequently came under the control of Germans, Poles, Swedes, и finally, Russians. A Latvian republic emerged following Мир War I, but it was annexed by the USSR in 1940 - an action never recognized by the US и many other countries. Латвия reestablished its independence in 1991 following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Although the last Russian troops left in 1994, the status of the Russian minority (some 30% of the population) remains of concern to Moscow. Латвия joined both NATO и the EU in the spring of 2004.
Ливан Following the capture Сирии from the Ottoman Empire by Anglo-French forces in 1918, Франция received a mandate over this territory и separated out the region Ливана in 1920. Франция granted this area independence in 1943. A lengthy civil war (1975-1990) devastated the country, but Ливан has since made progress toward rebuilding its political institutions. Under the Ta'if Accord - the blueprint for national reconciliation - the Lebanese established a more equitable political system, particularly by giving Muslims a greater voice in the political process while institutionalizing sectarian divisions in the government. Since the end of the war, Ливан has conducted several successful elections. Most militias have been disbanded, и the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) have extended authority over about two-thirds of the country. Hizballah, a radical Shi'a organization listed by the US State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, retains its weapons. During Ливан's civil war, the Arab League legitimized in the Ta'if Accord Сирия's troop deployment, numbering about 16,000 based mainly восток of Beirut и in the Bekaa Valley. Израиль's withdrawal from southern Ливан in May 2000 и the passage in October 2004 of UNSCR 1559 - a resolution calling for Сирия to withdraw from Ливан и end its interference in Lebanese affairs - encouraged some Lebanese groups to demand that Сирия withdraw its forces as well. The assassination of former Премьер Министр Rafiq HARIRI и 20 others in February 2005 led to massive demonstrations in Beirut against the Syrian presence ("the Cedar Revolution"), и Сирия withdrew the remainder of its military forces in April 2005. In May-June 2005, Ливан held its first legislative elections since the end of the civil war free of foreign interference, handing a majority to the bloc led by Saad HARIRI, the slain prime minister's son. Ливан continues to be plagued by violence - Hizballah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers in July 2006 leading to a 34-day conflict with Израиль. The LAF in May-September 2007 battled Sunni extremist group Fatah al-Islam in the Nahr al-Barid Palestinian refugee camp; и the country has witnessed a string of politically motivated assassinations since the death of Rafiq HARIRI. Lebanese politicians in November 2007 were unable to agree on a successor to Emile LAHUD when he stepped down as president, creating a political vacuum until the election of Army Commander Michel SULAYMAN in May 2008 и the formation of a new cabinet in July 2008.
Лесото Basutoland was renamed the Kingdom Лесото upon independence from the Великобритания in 1966. The Basuto National Party ruled for the first two decades. King MOSHOESHOE was exiled in 1990, but returned to Лесото in 1992 и was reinstated in 1995. Constitutional government was restored in 1993 после seven лет of military rule. In 1998, violent protests и a military mutiny following a contentious election prompted a brief but bloody intervention by South African и Botswanan military forces under the aegis of the Southern African Development Community. Subsequent constitutional reforms restored relative political stability. Peaceful parliamentary elections were held in 2002, but the National Assembly elections of February 2007 were hotly contested и aggrieved parties continue to periodically demonstrate their distrust of the results.
Либерия Settlement of freed slaves from the US in what is today Либерия began in 1822; by 1847, the Americo-Liberians were able to establish a republic. William TUBMAN, president from 1944-71, did much to promote foreign investment и to bridge the economic, social, и political gaps between the descendents of the original settlers и the inhabitants of the interior. In 1980, a military coup led by Samuel DOE ushered in a decade of authoritarian rule. In December 1989, Charles TAYLOR launched a rebellion against DOE's regime that led to a prolonged civil war in which DOE himself was killed. A period of relative peace in 1997 allowed for elections that brought TAYLOR to power, but major fighting resumed in 2000. An August 2003 peace agreement ended the war и prompted the resignation of former president Charles TAYLOR, who faces war crimes charges in The Hague related to his involvement in Сьерра-Леоне 's civil war. After two лет of rule by a transitional government, democratic elections in late 2005 brought Президент Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF to power. The UN Mission in Либерия (UNMIL) maintains a strong presence throughout the country, but the security situation is still fragile и the process of rebuilding the social и economic structure of this war-torn country will take many лет.
Либия The Italians supplanted the Ottoman Turks in the area around Tripoli in 1911 и did not relinquish their hold until 1943 when defeated in Мир War II. Либия then passed to UN administration и achieved independence in 1951. Following a 1969 military coup, Col. Muammar Abu Minyar al-QADHAFI began to espouse his own political system, the Third Universal Theory. The system is a combination of socialism и Islam derived in part from tribal practices и is supposed to be implemented by the Libyan people themselves in a unique form of "direct democracy." QADHAFI has always seen himself as a revolutionary и visionary leader. He used нефть funds during the 1970s и 1980s to promote his ideology outside Либия, supporting subversives и terrorists abroad to hasten the end of Marxism и capitalism. In addition, beginning in 1973, he engaged in military operations in northern Чад 's Aozou Strip - to gain access to minerals и to use as a base of influence in Chadian politics - but was forced to retreat in 1987. UN sanctions in 1992 isolated QADHAFI politically following the downing of Pan AM Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. During the 1990s, QADHAFI began to rebuild his relationships with Europe. UN sanctions were suspended in April 1999 и finally lifted in September 2003 после Либия accepted responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing. In December 2003, Либия announced that it had agreed to reveal и end its programs to develop weapons of mass destruction и to renounce terrorism. QADHAFI has made significant strides in normalizing relations with Western nations since then. He has received various Western European leaders as well as many working-level и commercial delegations, и made his first trip to Western Europe in 15 лет when he traveled to Brussels in April 2004. Либия has responded in good faith to legal cases brought against it in US courts for terrorist acts that predate its renunciation of violence. Claims for compensation in the Lockerbie bombing, LaBelle disco bombing, и UTA 772 bombing cases are ongoing. The US rescinded Либия's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism in June 2006. In late 2007, Либия was elected by the General Assembly to a nonpermanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2008-09 term.
Лихтенштейн The Principality Лихтенштейна was established within the Holy Roman Empire in 1719. Occupied by both French и Russian troops during the Napoleanic wars, it became a sovereign state in 1806 и joined the Germanic Confederation in 1815. Лихтенштейн became fully independent in 1866 when the Confederation dissolved. Until the end Мира War I, it was closely tied to Австрия, but the economic devastation caused by that conflict forced Лихтенштейн to enter into a customs и monetary union with Швейцария. Since Мир War II (in which Лихтенштейн remained neutral), the country's low taxes have spurred outstanding economic growth. In 2000, shortcomings in banking regulatory oversight resulted in concerns about the use of financial institutions for money laundering. However, Лихтенштейн implemented anti-money-laundering legislation и a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the US went into effect in 2003.
Литва Lithuanian lands were united under MINDAUGAS in 1236; over the next century, through alliances и conquest, Литва extended its territory to include most of present-day Беларусь и Украина. By the end of the 14th century Литва was the largest state in Europe. An alliance with Польша in 1386 led the two countries into a union through the person of a common ruler. In 1569, Литва и Польша formally united into a single dual state, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. This entity survived until 1795, when its remnants were partitioned by surrounding countries. Литва regained its independence following Мир War I but was annexed by the USSR in 1940 - an action never recognized by the US и many other countries. On 11 March 1990, Литва became the first of the Soviet republics to declare its independence, but Moscow did not recognize this proclamation until September of 1991 (following the abortive coup in Moscow). The last Russian troops withdrew in 1993. Литва subsequently restructured its economy for integration into Western European institutions; it joined both NATO и the EU in the spring of 2004.
Люксембург Founded in 963, Люксембург became a grand duchy in 1815 и an independent state under the Нидерланды. It lost more than half of its territory to Бельгия in 1839, but gained a larger measure of autonomy. Full independence was attained in 1867. Overrun by Германия in both Мир Wars, it ended its neutrality in 1948 when it entered into the Benelux Customs Union и when it joined NATO the following year. In 1957, Люксембург became один of the six founding countries of the European Economic Community (later the Европейское сообщество), и in 1999 it joined the euro currency area.
Macau Colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century, Macau was the first European settlement in the Far East. Pursuant to an agreement signed by Китай и Португалия on 13 April 1987, Macau became the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) Китая on 20 December 1999. In this agreement, Китай promised that, under its "один country, two systems" formula, Китай's socialist economic system would not be practiced in Macau, и that Macau would enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign и defense affairs for the next 50 лет.
Македония Македония gained its independence peacefully from Yugoslavia in 1991, but Греция's objection to the new state's use of what it considered a Hellenic name и symbols delayed international recognition, which occurred under the provisional designation of "the Former Yugoslav Республика Македония." In 1995, Греция lifted a 20-month trade embargo и the two countries agreed to normalize relations. The США began referring to Македония by its constitutional name, Республика Македония, in 2004 и negotiations continue between Греция и Македония to resolve the name issue. Some ethnic Albanians, angered by perceived political и economic inequities, launched an insurgency in 2001 that eventually won the support of the majority Македонии's Albanian population и led to the internationally-brokered Framework Agreement, which ended the fighting by establishing a set of new laws enhancing the rights of minorities. Fully implementating the Framework Agreement и stimulating economic growth и development continue to be challenges for Македония, although progress has been made on both fronts over the past several лет.
Мадагаскар Formerly an independent kingdom, Мадагаскар became a French colony in 1896 but regained independence in 1960. During 1992-93, free presidential и National Assembly elections were held ending 17 лет of single-party rule. In 1997, in the second presidential race, Didier RATSIRAKA, the leader during the 1970s и 1980s, was returned to the presidency. The 2001 presidential election was contested between the followers of Didier RATSIRAKA и Marc RAVALOMANANA, nearly causing secession of half of the country. In April 2002, the High Constitutional Court announced RAVALOMANANA the winner. RAVALOMANANA is now in his second term following a landslide victory in the generally free и fair presidential elections of 2006.
Малави Established in 1891, the British protectorate of Nyasaland became the independent nation Малави in 1964. After three decades of один-party rule under Президент Hastings Kamuzu BANDA the country held multiparty elections in 1994, under a provisional constitution that came into full effect the following year. Current Президент Bingu wa MUTHARIKA, elected in May 2004 после a failed attempt by the previous president to amend the constitution to permit another term, struggled to assert his authority against his predecessor и subsequently started his own party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in 2005. As president, MUTHARIKA has overseen substantial economic improvement but because of political deadlock in the legislature, his minority party has been unable to pass significant legislation, и anti-corruption measures have stalled. Население: growth, increasing pressure on agricultural lands, corruption, и the spread of HIV/AIDS pose major problems for Малави.
Малазия During the late 18th и 19th centuries, Great Britain established colonies и protectorates in the area of current Малазия; these were occupied by Япония from 1942 to 1945. In 1948, the British-ruled territories on the Malay Peninsula formed the Federation of Malaya, which became independent in 1957. Малазия was formed in 1963 when the former British colonies Сингапуа и the East Malaysian states of Sabah и Sarawak on the northern coast of Borneo joined the Federation. The first several лет of the country's history were marred by a Communist insurgency, Indonesian confrontation with Малазия, Philippine claims to Sabah, и Сингапур's secession from the Federation in 1965. During the 22-year term of Премьер Министр MAHATHIR bin Mohamad (1981-2003), Малазия was successful in diversifying its economy from dependence on exports of raw materials to expansion in обрабатывающая промышленность, services, и tourism.
Мальдивы The Мальдивы was long a sultanate, first under Dutch и then under British protection. It became a republic in 1968, three лет после independence. Since 1978, Президент Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM - currently in his sixth term in office - has dominated the islands' political scene. Following riots in the capital Male in August 2004, the president и his government pledged to embark upon democratic reforms including a more representative political system и expanded political freedoms. Progress has been slow, however, и many promised reforms have been slow to come to fruition. Nonetheless, political parties were legalized in 2005. A constituent assembly - termed the "special majlis" - has pledged to complete the drafting of a new constitution by the end of 2007 и first-ever presidential elections under a multi-candidate, multi-party system are slated for November 2008. Tourism и рыболовство are being developed on the archipelago.
Мали The Sudanese Republic и Сенегал became independent Франции in 1960 as the Мали Federation. When Сенегал withdrew после only a few months, what formerly made up the Sudanese Republic was renamed Мали. Rule by dictatorship was brought to a close in 1991 by a military coup - led by the current president Amadou TOURE - enabling Мали's emergence as один of the strongest democracies on the continent. Президент Alpha KONARE won Мали's first democratic presidential election in 1992 и was reelected in 1997. In keeping with Мали's two-term constitutional limit, KONARE stepped down in 2002 и was succeeded by Amadou TOURE, who was subsequently elected to a second term in 2007. The elections were widely judged to be free и fair.
Мальта Great Britain formally acquired possession Мальты in 1814. The island staunchly supported the Великобритания through both Мир Wars и remained in the Commonwealth when it became independent in 1964. A decade later Мальта became a republic. Since about the mid-1980s, the island has transformed itself into a freight transshipment point, a financial center, и a tourist destination. Мальта became an EU member in May 2004 и began to use the euro as currency in 2008.
Маршалловы Острова After almost four decades under US administration as the easternmost part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Маршалловы Острова attained independence in 1986 under a Compact of Free Association. Compensation claims continue as a result of US nuclear testing on some of the atolls between 1947 и 1962. The Маршалловы Острова hosts the US Army Kwajalein Atoll (USAKA) Reagan Missile Test Site, a key installation in the US missile defense network.
Мавритания Independent from Франция in 1960, Мавритания annexed the southern third of the former испанский Sahara (now Западная Сахара) in 1976, but relinquished it после three лет of raids by the Polisario guerrilla front seeking independence for the territory. Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed TAYA seized power in a coup in 1984 и ruled Мавритания with a heavy hand for over two decades. A series of presidential elections that he held were widely seen as flawed. A bloodless coup in August 2005 deposed Президент TAYA и ushered in a military council that oversaw a transition to democratic rule. Independent candidate Sidi Ould Cheikh ABDALLAHI was inaugurated in April 2007 as Мавритания's first freely и fairly elected president. His term ended prematurely in August 2008 when a coup deposed him и ushered in a military council government. Meanwhile, the country continues to experience ethnic tensions among its черные population (Afro-Mauritanians) и White и Black Moor (Arab-Berber) communities.
Маврикий Although known to Arab и Malay sailors as early as the 10th century, Маврикий was first explored by the Portuguese in the 16th century и subsequently settled by the Dutch - who named it in honor of Prince Maurits van NASSAU - in the 17th century. The French assumed control in 1715, developing the island into an important naval base overseeing Индийский океан trade, и establishing a plantation economy of sugar cane. The British captured the island in 1810, during the Napoleonic Wars. Маврикий remained a strategically important British naval base, и later an air station, playing an important role during Мир War II for anti-submarine и convoy operations, as well as the collection of signals intelligence. Independence from the Великобритания was attained in 1968. A stable democracy with regular free elections и a positive human rights record, the country has attracted considerable foreign investment и has earned один of Africa's highest per capita incomes. Recent poor weather, declining sugar prices, и declining textile и apparel production, have slowed economic growth, leading to some protests over standards of living in the Creole community.
Майотта: заморская территория Франции Майотта: заморская территория Франции was ceded to Франция along with the other islands of the Коморские Острова group in 1843. It was the only island in the archipelago that voted in 1974 to retain its link with Франция и forego independence.
Мексика The site of advanced Amerindian civilizations, Мексика came under испанский rule for three centuries before achieving independence early in the 19th century. A devaluation of the peso in late 1994 threw Мексика into economic turmoil, triggering the worst recession in over half a century. The nation continues to make an impressive recovery. Ongoing economic и social concerns include low real wages, underemployment for a large segment of the population, inequitable income distribution, и few advancement opportunities for the largely Amerindian population in the impoverished southern states. The elections held in 2000 marked the first time since the 1910 Mexican Revolution that an opposition candidate - Vicente FOX of the National Action Party (PAN) - defeated the party in government, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). He was succeeded in 2006 by another PAN candidate Felipe CALDERON.
Микронезия In 1979 the Federated States of Micronesia, a UN Trust Territory under US administration, adopted a constitution. In 1986 independence was attained under a Compact of Free Association with the US, which was amended и renewed in 2004. Present concerns include large-scale unemployment, overfishing, и overdependence on US aid.
Молдавия Formerly part Румынии, Молдавия was incorporated into the Soviet Union at the close Мира War II. Although independent from the USSR since 1991, Russian forces have remained on Moldovan territory восток of the Dniester River supporting the Slavic majority population, mostly Ukrainians и Russians, who have proclaimed a "Transnistria" republic. One of the poorest nations in Europe, Молдавия became the first former Soviet state to elect a Communist as its president in 2001.
Монако The Genoese built a fortress on the site of present-day Монако in 1215. The current ruling Grimaldi family secured control in the late 13th century, и a principality was established in 1338. Economic development was spurred in the late 19th century with a railroad linkup to Франция и the opening of a casino. Since then, the principality's mild climate, splendid scenery, и gambling facilities have made Монако world famous as a tourist и recreation center.
Монголия The Mongols gained fame in the 13th century when under Chinggis KHAN they conquered a huge Eurasian empire. After his death the empire was divided into several powerful Mongol states, but these broke apart in the 14th century. The Mongols eventually retired to their original steppe homelands и in the late 17th century came under Chinese rule. Монголия won its independence in 1921 with Soviet backing. A Communist regime was installed in 1924. Following a peaceful democratic revolution, the ex-Communist Mongolian Люди's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) won elections in 1990 и 1992, but was defeated by the Democratic Union Coalition (DUC) in the 1996 parliamentary election. Since then, parliamentary elections returned the MPRP overwhelmingly to power in 2000, but 2004 elections reduced MPRP representation и, therefore, its authority.
Монтенегро The use of the name Монтенегро began in the 15th century when the Crnojevic dynasty began to rule the Serbian principality of Zeta; over subsequent centuries Монтенегро was able to maintain its independence from the Ottoman Empire. From the 16th to 19th centuries, Монтенегро became a theocracy ruled by a series of bishop princes; in 1852, it was transformed into a secular principality. After Мир War I, Монтенегро was absorbed by the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, и Slovenes, which became the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929; at the conclusion Мира War II, it became a constituent republic of the Socialist Federal Республика Yugoslavia. When the latter dissolved in 1992, Монтенегро federated with Сербия, first as the Federal Республика Yugoslavia и, после 2003, in a looser union Сербии и Монтенегро. In May 2006, Монтенегро invoked its right under the Constitutional Charter Сербии и Монтенегро to hold a referendum on independence from the state union. The vote for severing ties with Сербия exceeded 55% - the threshold set by the EU - allowing Монтенегро to formally declare its independence on 3 June 2006.
Монтсеррат: заморская территория Великобритании английский и Irish colonists from St. Kitts first settled on Монтсеррат: заморская территория Великобритании in 1632; the first African slaves arrived three decades later. The British и French fought for possession of the island for most of the 18th century, but it finally was confirmed as a British possession in 1783. The island's sugar plantation economy was converted to small farm landholdings in the mid 19th century. Much of this island was devastated и two-thirds of the population fled abroad because of the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano that began on 18 July 1995. Монтсеррат: заморская территория Великобритании has endured volcanic activity since, with the last eruption occurring in July 2003.
Мороккo In 788, about a century после the Arab conquest of Северный Africa, successive Moorish dynasties began to rule in Мороккo. In the 16th century, the Sa'adi monarchy, particularly under Ahmad AL-MANSUR (1578-1603), repelled foreign invaders и inaugurated a golden age. In 1860, Испания occupied northern Мороккo и ushered in a half century of trade rivalry among European powers that saw Мороккo's sovereignty steadily erode; in 1912, the French imposed a protectorate over the country. A protracted independence struggle with Франция ended successfully in 1956. The internationalized city of Tangier и most испанский possessions were turned over to the new country that same year. Мороккo virtually annexed Западная Сахара during the late 1970s, but final resolution on the status of the territory remains unresolved. Gradual political reforms in the 1990s resulted in the establishment of a bicameral legislature, which first met in 1997. Improvements in human rights have occurred и there is a largely free press. Despite the continuing reforms, ultimate authority remains in the hands of the monarch.
Мозамбик Almost five centuries as a Portuguese colony came to a close with independence in 1975. Large-scale emigration by whites, economic dependence on Южно-Африканская Республика, a severe drought, и a prolonged civil war hindered the country's development until the mid 1990's. The ruling Front for the Liberation Мозамбика (FRELIMO) party formally abandoned Marxism in 1989, и a new constitution the following year provided for multiparty elections и a free market economy. A UN-negotiated peace agreement between FRELIMO и rebel Мозамбик National Resistance (RENAMO) forces ended the fighting in 1992. In December 2004, Мозамбик underwent a delicate transition as Joaquim CHISSANO stepped down после 18 лет in office. His elected successor, Armando Emilio GUEBUZA, promised to continue the sound economic policies that have encouraged foreign investment. Мозамбик has seen very strong economic growth since the end of the civil war largely due to post-conflict reconstruction.
Намибия Южно-Африканская Республика occupied the German colony of South-West Africa during Мир War I и administered it as a mandate until после Мир War II, when it annexed the territory. In 1966 the Marxist South-West Africa Люди's Organization (SWAPO) guerrilla group launched a war of independence for the area that was soon named Намибия, but it was not until 1988 that Южно-Африканская Республика agreed to end its administration in accordance with a UN peace plan for the entire region. Намибия has been governed by SWAPO since the country won independence in 1990. Hifikepunye POHAMBA was elected president in November 2004 in a landslide victory replacing Sam NUJOMA who led the country during its first 14 лет of self rule.
Науру The exact origins of the Nauruans are unclear, since their language does not resemble any other in the Pacific. The island was annexed by Германия in 1888 и its phosphate deposits began to be mined early in the 20th century by a German-British consortium. Науру was occupied by Australian forces in Мир War I и subsequently became a League of Nations mandate. After the Second Мир War - и a brutal occupation by Япония - Науру became a UN trust territory. It achieved its independence in 1968 и joined the UN in 1999 as the world's smallest independent republic.
Остров Навасса This uninhabited island was claimed by the US in 1857 for its guano. Mining took place between 1865 и 1898. The lighthouse, built in 1917, was shut down in 1996 и administration Острова Навасса transferred from the Coast Guard to the Department of the Interior. A 1998 scientific expedition to the island described it as a unique preserve of Caribbean biodiversity; the following year it became a National Wildlife Refuge и annual scientific expeditions have continued.
Непал In 1951, the Nepalese monarch ended the century-old system of rule by hereditary premiers и instituted a cabinet system of government. Reforms in 1990 established a multiparty democracy within the framework of a constitutional monarchy. An insurgency led by Maoist extremists broke out in 1996. The ensuing nine-year civil war between insurgents и government forces witnessed the dissolution of the cabinet и parliament и assumption of absolute power by the king. Several weeks of mass protests in April 2006 were followed by several months of peace negotiations between the Maoists и government officials, и culminated in a November 2006 peace accord и the promulgation of an interim constitution. The newly formed interim parliament declared Непал a democratic federal republic at its first meeting in May 2008, the king vacated the throne in mid-June 2008, и parliament elected the country's first president the following month.
Нидерланды The Dutch United Provinces declared their independence from Испания in 1579; during the 17th century, they became a leading seafaring и commercial power, with settlements и colonies around the world. After a 20-year French occupation, a Kingdom of the Нидерланды was formed in 1815. In 1830 Бельгия seceded и formed a separate kingdom. The Нидерланды remained neutral in Мир War I, but suffered invasion и occupation by Германия in Мир War II. A modern, industrialized nation, the Нидерланды is also a large exporter of продукты сельского хозяйства. The country was a founding member of NATO и the EEC (now the EU), и participated in the introduction of the euro in 1999.
Нидерландские Антильские о-ва Once the center of the Caribbean slave trade, the island of Curacao was hard hit by the abolition of slavery in 1863. Its prosperity (и that of neighboring Аруба) was restored in the early 20th century with the construction of нефть refineries to service the newly discovered Venezuelan нефть fields. The island of Saint Martin is shared with Франция; its southern portion is named Sint Maarten и is part of the Нидерландские Антильские о-ва; its northern portion, called Saint Martin, is an overseas collectivity Франции.
Новая Каледония: заморская территория Франции Settled by both Britain и Франция during the first half of the 19th century, the island was made a French possession in 1853. It served as a penal colony for four decades после 1864. Agitation for independence during the 1980s и early 1990s ended in the 1998 Noumea Accord, which over a period of 15 to 20 лет will transfer an increasing amount of governing responsibility from Франция to Новая Каледония: заморская территория Франции. The agreement also commits Франция to conduct as many as three referenda between 2013 и 2018, to decide whether Новая Каледония: заморская территория Франции should assume full sovereignty и independence.
Новая Зеландия The Polynesian Maori reached Новая Зеландия in about A.D. 800. In 1840, their chieftains entered into a compact with Britain, the Treaty of Waitangi, in which they ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria while retaining territorial rights. In that same year, the British began the first organized colonial settlement. A series of land wars between 1843 и 1872 ended with the defeat of the native peoples. The British colony Новой Зеландии became an independent dominion in 1907 и supported the Великобритания militarily in both Мир Wars. Новая Зеландия's full participation in a number of defense alliances lapsed by the 1980s. In recent лет, the government has sought to address longstanding Maori grievances.
Никарагуа The Pacific coast Никарагуа was settled as a испанский colony from Панама in the early 16th century. Independence from Испания was declared in 1821 и the country became an independent republic in 1838. Britain occupied the Caribbean Coast in the first half of the 19th century, but gradually ceded control of the region in subsequent decades. Violent opposition to governmental manipulation и corruption spread to all classes by 1978 и resulted in a short-lived civil war that brought the Marxist Sandinista guerrillas to power in 1979. Nicaraguan aid to leftist rebels in Сальвадор caused the US to sponsor anti-Sandinista contra guerrillas through much of the 1980s. Free elections in 1990, 1996, и 2001, saw the Sandinistas defeated, but voting in 2006 announced the return of former Sandinista Президент Daniel ORTEGA Saavedra. Никарагуа's infrastructure и economy - hard hit by the earlier civil war и by Hurricane Mitch in 1998 - are slowly being rebuilt.
Нигер Нигер became independent from Франция in 1960 и experienced single-party и military rule until 1991, when Gen. Ali SAIBOU was forced by public pressure to allow multiparty elections, which resulted in a democratic government in 1993. Political infighting brought the government to a standstill и in 1996 led to a coup by Col. Ibrahim BARE. In 1999 BARE was killed in a coup by military officers who promptly restored democratic rule и held elections that brought Mamadou TANDJA to power in December of that year. TANDJA was reelected in 2004. Нигер is один of the poorest countries in the world with minimal government services и insufficient funds to develop its resource base. The largely agrarian и subsistence-based economy is frequently disrupted by extended засухи common to the Sahel region of Africa. A predominately Tuareg ethnic group emerged in February 2007, the Nigerien Movement for Justice (MNJ), и attacked several military targets in Нигер's northern region throughout 2007. Events have since evolved into a budding insurrection.
Нигерия British influence и control over what would become Нигерия grew through the 19th century. A series of constitutions после Мир War II granted Нигерия greater autonomy; independence came in 1960. Following nearly 16 лет of military rule, a new constitution was adopted in 1999, и a peaceful transition to civilian government was completed. The government continues to face the daunting task of reforming a нефть-based economy, whose revenues have been squandered through corruption и mismanagement, и institutionalizing democracy. In addition, Нигерия continues to experience longstanding ethnic и religious tensions. Although both the 2003 и 2007 presidential elections were marred by significant irregularities и violence, Нигерия is currently experiencing its longest period of civilian rule since independence. The general elections of April 2007 marked the first civilian-to-civilian transfer of power in the country's history.
Ниуэ Ниуэ's remoteness, as well as cultural и linguistic differences between its Polynesian inhabitants и those of the rest of the Острова Кука, have caused it to be separately administered. The population of the island continues to drop (from a peak of 5,200 in 1966 to an estimated 1,444 in 2008), with substantial emigration to Новая Зеландия, 2,400 км to the southwest.
Норфолк Two British attempts at establishing the island as a penal colony (1788-1814 и 1825-55) were ultimately abandoned. In 1856, the island was resettled by Pitcairn Islanders, descendants of the Bounty mutineers и their Tahitian companions.
Северные Марианские острова Under US administration as part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific, the people of the Северные Марианские острова decided in the 1970s not to seek independence but instead to forge closer links with the US. Negotiations for territorial status began in 1972. A covenant to establish a commonwealth in political union with the US was approved in 1975, и came into force on 24 March 1976. A new government и constitution went into effect in 1978.
Норвегия Two centuries of Viking raids into Europe tapered off following the adoption of Christianity by King Olav TRYGGVASON in 994. Conversion of the Norwegian kingdom occurred over the next several decades. In 1397, Норвегия was absorbed into a union with Дания that lasted more than four centuries. In 1814, Norwegians resisted the cession of their country to Швеция и adopted a new constitution. Швеция then invaded Норвегия but agreed to let Норвегия keep its constitution in return for accepting the union under a Swedish king. Rising nationalism throughout the 19th century led to a 1905 referendum granting Норвегия independence. Although Норвегия remained neutral in Мир War I, it suffered heavy losses to its shipping. Норвегия proclaimed its neutrality at the outset Мира War II, but was nonetheless occupied for five лет by Nazi Германия (1940-45). In 1949, neutrality was abandoned и Норвегия became a member of NATO. Discovery of нефть и газ in adjacent waters in the late 1960s boosted Норвегия's economic fortunes. The current focus is on containing spending on the extensive welfare system и planning for the time when нефть reserves are depleted. In referenda held in 1972 и 1994, Норвегия rejected joining the EU.
Оман The inhabitants of the area Омана have long prospered on Индийский океан trade. In the late 18th century, a newly established sultanate in Muscat signed the first in a series of friendship treaties with Britain. Over time, Оман's dependence on British political и military advisors increased, but it never became a British colony. In 1970, QABOOS bin Said al-Said overthrew the restrictive rule of his father; he has ruled as sultan ever since. His extensive modernization program has opened the country to the outside world while preserving the longstanding close ties with the Великобритания. Оман's moderate, independent foreign policy has sought to maintain good relations with all Middle Eastern countries.
Тихий океан The Тихий океан is the largest of the world's five oceans (followed by the Атлантический океан, Индийский океан, Южный океан, и Артический океан). Strategically important access waterways include the La Perouse, Tsugaru, Tsushima, Тайвань, Сингапур, и Torres Straits. The decision by the Международные Hydrographic Organization in the spring of 2000 to delimit a fifth ocean, the Южный океан, removed the portion of the Тихий океан юг of 60 degrees юг.
Пакистан The Indus Valley civilization, один of the oldest in the world и dating back at least 5,000 лет, spread over much of what is presently Пакистан. During the second millennium B.C., remnants of this culture fused with the migrating Indo-Aryan peoples. The area underwent successive invasions in subsequent centuries from the Persians, Greeks, Scythians, Arabs (who brought Islam), Afghans, и Turks. The Mughal Empire flourished in the 16th и 17th centuries; the British came to dominate the region in the 18th century. The separation in 1947 of British Индия into the мусульмане state Пакистана (with West и East sections) и largely Hindu Индия was never satisfactorily resolved, и Индия и Пакистан fought two wars - in 1947-48 и 1965 - over the disputed Kashmir territory. A third war between these countries in 1971 - in which Индия capitalized on Islamabad's marginalization of Bengalis in Pakistani politics - resulted in East Пакистан becoming the separate nation Бангладеша. In response to Indian nuclear weapons testing, Пакистан conducted its own tests in 1998. The dispute over the state of Kashmir is ongoing, but discussions и confidence-building measures have led to decreased tensions since 2002.
Палау After three decades as part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific under US administration, this westernmost cluster of the Caroline Islands opted for independence in 1978 rather than join the Federated States of Micronesia. A Compact of Free Association with the US was approved in 1986, but not ratified until 1993. It entered into force the following year, when the islands gained independence.
Панама Explored и settled by the испанский in the 16th century, Панама broke with Испания in 1821 и joined a union Колумбии, Эквадор, и Венесуэлa - named the Республика Gran Колумбия. When the latter dissolved in 1830, Панама remained part Колумбии. With US backing, Панама seceded from Колумбия in 1903 и promptly signed a treaty with the US allowing for the construction of a canal и US sovereignty over a strip of land on either side of the structure (the Панама Canal Zone). The Панама Canal was built by the US Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 и 1914. In 1977, an agreement was signed for the complete transfer of the Canal from the US to Панама by the end of the century. Certain portions of the Zone и increasing responsibility over the Canal were turned over in the subsequent decades. With US help, dictator Manuel NORIEGA was deposed in 1989. The entire Панама Canal, the area supporting the Canal, и remaining US military bases were transferred to Панама by the end of 1999. In October 2006, Panamanians approved an ambitious plan to expand the Canal. The project, which began in 2007 и could double the Canal's capacity, is expected to be completed in 2014-15.
Папуа — Новая Гвинея The eastern half of the island of New Гвинея - second largest in the world - was divided between Германия (север) и the Великобритания (юг) in 1885. The latter area was transferred to Австралия in 1902, which occupied the northern portion during Мир War I и continued to administer the combined areas until independence in 1975. A nine-year secessionist revolt on the island of Bougainville ended in 1997 после claiming some 20,000 lives.
Парасельские острова The Парасельские острова are surrounded by productive рыболовство grounds и by potential нефть и газ reserves. In 1932, French Indochina annexed the islands и set up a weather station on Pattle Island; maintenance was continued by its successor, Вьетнам. Китай has occupied the Парасельские острова since 1974, when its troops seized a South Vietnamese garrison occupying the western islands. Китай built a military installation on Mischief Reef in 1999. The islands are claimed by Тайвань и Вьетнам.
Парагвай In the disastrous War of the Triple Alliance (1865-70) - between Парагвай и Аргентина, Бразилия, и Уругвай - Парагвай lost two-thirds of all adult males и much of its territory. It stagnated economically for the next half century. In the Chaco War of 1932-35, Парагвай won large, economically important areas from Боливия. The 35-year military dictatorship of Alfredo STROESSNER ended in 1989, и, despite a marked increase in political infighting in recent лет, Парагвай has held relatively free и regular presidential elections since then.
Перу Ancient Перу was the seat of several prominent Andean civilizations, most notably that of the Incas whose empire was captured by the испанский conquistadors in 1533. Peruvian independence was declared in 1821, и remaining испанский forces defeated in 1824. After a dozen лет of military rule, Перу returned to democratic leadership in 1980, but experienced economic problems и the growth of a violent insurgency. Президент Alberto FUJIMORI's election in 1990 ushered in a decade that saw a dramatic turnaround in the economy и significant progress in curtailing guerrilla activity. Nevertheless, the president's increasing reliance on authoritarian measures и an economic slump in the late 1990s generated mounting dissatisfaction with his regime, which led to his ouster in 2000. A caretaker government oversaw new elections in the spring of 2001, which ushered in Alejandro TOLEDO as the new глава правительства - Перу's first democratically elected president of Native American ethnicity. The presidential election of 2006 saw the return of Alan GARCIA who, после a disappointing presidential term from 1985 to 1990, returned to the presidency with promises to improve social conditions и maintain fiscal responsibility.
Филиппины The Philippine Islands became a испанский colony during the 16th century; they were ceded to the US in 1898 following the испанский-American War. In 1935 the Филиппины became a self-governing commonwealth. Manuel QUEZON was elected president и was tasked with preparing the country for independence после a 10-year transition. In 1942 the islands fell under Japanese occupation during Мир War II, и US forces и Filipinos fought together during 1944-45 to regain control. On 4 July 1946 the Республика the Филиппины attained its independence. The 20-year rule of Ferdinand MARCOS ended in 1986, when a "people power" movement in Manila ("EDSA 1") forced him into exile и installed Corazon AQUINO as president. Her presidency was hampered by several coup attempts, which prevented a return to full political stability и economic development. Fidel RAMOS was elected president in 1992 и his administration was marked by greater stability и progress on economic reforms. In 1992, the US closed its last military bases on the islands. Joseph ESTRADA was elected president in 1998, but was succeeded by his vice-president, Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, in January 2001 после ESTRADA's stormy impeachment trial on corruption charges broke down и another "people power" movement ("EDSA 2") demanded his resignation. MACAPAGAL-ARROYO was elected to a six-year term as president in May 2004. The Philippine Правление faces threats from three terrorist groups on the US Правление's Foreign Terrorist Organization list, but in 2006 и 2007 scored some major successes in capturing или killing key wanted terrorists. Decades of мусульмане insurgency in the southern Филиппины have led to a peace accord with один group и an ongoing cease-fire и peace talks with another.
Питкэрн: заморская территория Великобритании Pitcairn Island was discovered in 1767 by the British и settled in 1790 by the Bounty mutineers и their Tahitian companions. Pitcairn was the first Pacific island to become a British colony (in 1838) и today remains the last vestige of that empire in the South Pacific. Outmigration, primarily to Новая Зеландия, has thinned the population from a peak of 233 in 1937 to less than 50 today.
Польша Польша is an ancient nation that was conceived near the middle of the 10th century. Its golden age occurred in the 16th century. During the following century, the strengthening of the gentry и internal disorders weakened the nation. In a series of agreements between 1772 и 1795, Россия, Prussia, и Австрия partitioned Польша amongst themselves. Польша regained its independence in 1918 only to be overrun by Германия и the Soviet Union in Мир War II. It became a Soviet satellite state following the war, but its government was comparatively tolerant и progressive. Labor turmoil in 1980 led to the formation of the independent trade union "Solidarity" that over time became a political force и by 1990 had swept parliamentary elections и the presidency. A "shock therapy" program during the early 1990s enabled the country to transform its economy into один of the most robust in Центральная Европа, but Польша still faces the lingering challenges of high unemployment, underdeveloped и dilapidated infrastructure, и a poor rural underclass. Solidarity suffered a major defeat in the 2001 parliamentary elections when it failed to elect a single deputy to the lower house of Parliament, и the new leaders of the Solidarity Trade Union subsequently pledged to reduce the Trade Union's political role. Польша joined NATO in 1999 и the Европейское сообщество in 2004. With its transformation to a democratic, market-oriented country largely completed, Польша is an increasingly active member of Euro-Atlantic organizations.
Португалия Following its heyday as a world power during the 15th и 16th centuries, Португалия lost much of its wealth и status with the destruction of Lisbon in a 1755 землетрясения, occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, и the independence in 1822 Бразилии as a colony. A 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy; for most of the next six decades, repressive governments ran the country. In 1974, a left-wing military coup installed broad democratic reforms. The following year, Португалия granted independence to all of its African colonies. Португалия is a founding member of NATO и entered the EC (now the EU) in 1986.
Пуэрто-Рико Populated for centuries by aboriginal peoples, the island was claimed by the испанский Crown in 1493 following COLUMBUS' second voyage to the Americas. In 1898, после 400 лет of colonial rule that saw the indigenous population nearly exterminated и African slave labor introduced, Пуэрто-Рико was ceded to the US as a result of the испанский-American War. Puerto Ricans were granted US citizenship in 1917. Popularly-elected governors have served since 1948. In 1952, a constitution was enacted providing for internal self government. In plebiscites held in 1967, 1993, и 1998, voters chose not to alter the existing political status.
Катар Ruled by the al-Thani family since the mid-1800s, Катар transformed itself from a poor British protectorate noted mainly for pearling into an independent state with significant нефть и природный газ revenues. During the late 1980s и early 1990s, the Qatari economy was crippled by a continuous siphoning off of нефть revenues by the Amir, who had ruled the country since 1972. His son, the current Amir HAMAD bin Khalifa al-Thani, overthrew him in a bloodless coup in 1995. In 2001, Катар resolved its longstanding border disputes with both Бахрейн и Саудовская Аравия. As of 2007, нефть и природный газ revenues had enabled Катар to attain the highest per capita income in the world.
Румыния The principalities of Wallachia и Moldavia - for centuries under the suzerainty of the Turkish Ottoman Empire - secured their autonomy in 1856; they united in 1859 и a few лет later adopted the new name Румынии. The country gained recognition of its independence in 1878. It joined the Allied Powers in Мир War I и acquired new territories - most notably Transylvania - following the conflict. In 1940, Румыния allied with the Axis powers и participated in the 1941 German invasion of the USSR. Three лет later, overrun by the Soviets, Румыния signed an armistice. The post-war Soviet occupation led to the formation of a Communist "people's republic" in 1947 и the abdication of the king. The decades-long rule of dictator Nicolae CEAUSESCU, who took power in 1965, и his Securitate police state became increasingly oppressive и draconian through the 1980s. CEAUSESCU was overthrown и executed in late 1989. Former Communists dominated the government until 1996 when they were swept from power. Румыния joined NATO in 2004 и the EU in 2007.
Россия Founded in the 12th century, the Principality of Muscovy, was able to emerge from over 200 лет of Mongol domination (13th-15th centuries) и to gradually conquer и absorb surrounding principalities. In the early 17th century, a new Romanov Dynasty continued this policy of expansion across Siberia to the Pacific. Under PETER I (ruled 1682-1725), hegemony was extended to the Балтийское море и the country was renamed the Russian Empire. During the 19th century, more territorial acquisitions were made in Europe и Азия. Defeat in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 contributed to the Revolution of 1905, which resulted in the formation of a parliament и other reforms. Repeated devastating defeats of the Russian army in Мир War I led to widespread rioting in the major cities of the Russian Empire и to the overthrow in 1917 of the imperial household. The Communists under Vladimir LENIN seized power soon после и formed the USSR. The brutal rule of Iosif STALIN (1928-53) strengthened Communist rule и Russian dominance of the Soviet Union at a cost of tens of millions of lives. The Soviet economy и society stagnated in the following decades until General Secretary Mikhail GORBACHEV (1985-91) introduced glasnost (openness) и perestroika (restructuring) in an attempt to modernize Communism, but his initiatives inadvertently released forces that by December 1991 splintered the USSR into Россия и 14 other independent republics. Since then, Россия has struggled in its efforts to build a democratic political system и market economy to replace the social, political, и economic controls of the Communist period. In tandem with its prudent management России's windfall энергия wealth, which has helped the country rebound from the economic collapse of the 1990s, the Kremlin in recent лет has overseen a recentralization of power that has undermined democratic institutions. Россия has severely disabled the Chechen rebel movement, although violence still occurs throughout the Северный Caucasus.
Руанда In 1959, three лет before independence from Бельгия, the majority ethnic group, the Hutus, overthrew the ruling Tutsi king. Over the next several лет, thousands of Tutsis were killed, и some 150,000 driven into exile in neighboring countries. The children of these exiles later formed a rebel group, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), и began a civil war in 1990. The war, along with several political и economic upheavals, exacerbated ethnic tensions, culminating in April 1994 in the genocide of roughly 800,000 Tutsis и moderate Hutus. The Tutsi rebels defeated the Hutu regime и ended the killing in July 1994, but approximately 2 миллионов Hutu беженцы - many fearing Tutsi retribution - fled to neighboring Бурунди, Танзания, Угадна, и Zaire. Since then, most of the беженцы have returned to Руанда, but several thousand remained in the neighboring Democratic Республика the Congo (DRC; the former Zaire) и formed an extremist insurgency bent on retaking Руанда, much as the RPF tried in 1990. Despite substantial international assistance и political reforms - including Руанда's first local elections in March 1999 и its first post-genocide presidential и legislative elections in August и September 2003 - the country continues to struggle to boost investment и agricultural output, и ethnic reconciliation is complicated by the real и perceived Tutsi political dominance. Kigali's increasing centralization и intolerance of dissent, the nagging Hutu extremist insurgency across the border, и Rwandan involvement in two wars in recent лет in the neighboring DRC continue to hinder Руанда's efforts to escape its bloody legacy.
Сен-Бартельми Discovered in 1493 by Christopher COLUMBUS who named it for his brother Bartolomeo, St. Barthelemy was first settled by the French in 1648. In 1784, the French sold the island to Швеция, who renamed the largest town Gustavia, после the Swedish King GUSTAV III, и made it a free port; the island prospered as a trade и supply center during the colonial wars of the 18th century. Франция repurchased the island in 1878 и placed it under the administration of Guadeloupe. St. Barthelemy retained its free port status along with various Swedish appelations such as Swedish street и town names, и the three-crown symbol on the coat of arms. In 2003, the populace of the island voted to secede from Guadeloupe и in 2007, the island became a French overseas collectivity.
Святой Елены остров Святой Елены остров is a British Overseas Territory consisting Святой Елены острова и Ascension Islands, и the island group of Tristan da Cunha.
Святой Елены остров: Uninhabited when first discovered by the Portuguese in 1502, Святой Елены остров was garrisoned by the British during the 17th century. It acquired fame as the place of Napoleon BONAPARTE's exile, from 1815 until his death in 1821, but its importance as a port of call declined после the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. During the Anglo-Boer War in Южно-Африканская Республика, several thousand Boer prisoners were confined on the island between 1900 и 1903.
Ascension Island: This barren и uninhabited island was discovered и named by the Portuguese in 1503. The British garrisoned the island in 1815 to prevent a rescue of Napoleon from Святой Елены остров и it served as a provisioning station for the Royal Navy's West Africa Squadron on anti-slavery patrol. The island remained under Admiralty control until 1922, when it became a dependency Святой Елены острова. During Мир War II, the Великобритания permitted the US to construct an airfield on Ascension in support of trans-Atlantic flights to Africa и anti-submarine operations in the South Atlantic. In the 1960s the island became an important space tracking station for the US. In 1982, Ascension was an essential staging area for British forces during the Falklands War, и it remains a critical refueling point in the air-bridge from the Великобритания to the South Atlantic.
Tristan da Cunha: The island group consists of the islands of Tristan da Cunha, Nightingale, Inaccessible, и Gough. Tristan da Cunha is named после its Portuguese discoverer (1506); it was garrisoned by the British in 1816 to prevent any attempt to rescue Napoleon from Святой Елены остров. Gough и Inaccessible Islands have been designated Мир Heritage Sites. Южно-Африканская Республика leases a site for a meteorological station on Gough Island.
Сент-Китс и Невис First settled by the British in 1623, the islands became an associated state with full internal autonomy in 1967. The island Ангильи rebelled и was allowed to secede in 1971. Сент-Китс и Невис achieved independence in 1983. In 1998, a vote in Nevis on a referendum to separate from Saint Kitts fell short of the two-thirds majority needed. Nevis continues in its efforts to try и separate from Saint Kitts.
Сент-Люсия The island, with its fine natural harbor at Castries, was contested between England и Франция throughout the 17th и early 18th centuries (changing possession 14 times); it was finally ceded to the Великобритания in 1814. Even после the abolition of slavery on its plantations in 1834, Сент-Люсия remained an agricultural island, dedicated to producing tropical commodity crops. Self-government was granted in 1967 и independence in 1979.
Saint Martin Although sighted by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1493 и claimed for Испания, it was the Dutch who occupied the island in 1631 и set about exploiting its соль deposits. The испанский retook the island in 1633, but continued to be harassed by the Dutch. The испанский finally relinquished St. Martin to the French и Dutch, who divided it amongst themselves in 1648. The cultivation of sugar cane introduced slavery to the island in the late 18th century; the practice was not abolished until 1848. The island became a free port in 1939; the tourism industry was dramatically expanded during the 1970s и 1980s. In 2003, the populace of St. Martin voted to secede from Guadeloupe и in 2007, the northern portion of the island became a French overseas collectivity.
Сен-Пьер и Микелон: заморская территория Франции First settled by the French in the early 17th century, the islands represent the sole remaining vestige Франции's once vast Северный American possessions.
Сент-Винсент и Гренадины Resistance by native Caribs prevented colonization on St. Vincent until 1719. Disputed between Франция и the Великобритания for most of the 18th century, the island was ceded to the latter in 1783. Between 1960 и 1962, Сент-Винсент и Гренадины was a separate administrative unit of the Federation of the West Indies. Autonomy was granted in 1969 и independence in 1979.
Самоа Новая Зеландия occupied the German protectorate of Western Самоа at the outbreak Мира War I in 1914. It continued to administer the islands as a mandate и then as a trust territory until 1962, when the islands became the first Polynesian nation to reestablish independence in the 20th century. The country dropped the "Western" from its name in 1997.
Сан-Маринo The third smallest state in Europe (после the Holy See и Монако), Сан-Маринo also claims to be the world's oldest republic. According to tradition, it was founded by a Christian stonemason named Marinus in A.D. 301. Сан-Маринo's foreign policy is aligned with that Италии; social и political trends in the republic also track closely with those of its larger neighbor.
Сан-Томе и Принсипи Discovered и claimed by Португалия in the late 15th century, the islands' sugar-based economy gave way to coffee и cocoa in the 19th century - all grown with plantation slave labor, a form of which lingered into the 20th century. While independence was achieved in 1975, democratic reforms were not instituted until the late 1980s. The country held its first free elections in 1991, but frequent internal wrangling between the various political parties precipitated repeated changes in leadership и two failed coup attempts in 1995 и 2003. The recent discovery of нефть in the Gulf Гвинеи promises to attract increased attention to the small island nation.
Саудовская Аравия Саудовская Аравия is the birthplace of Islam и home to Islam's two holiest shrines in Mecca и Medina. The king's official title is the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. The modern Saudi state was founded in 1932 by ABD AL-AZIZ bin Abd al-Rahman AL SAUD (Ibn Saud) после a 30-year campaign to unify most of the Arabian Peninsula. A мужчин descendent of Ibn Saud, his son ABDALLAH bin Abd al-Aziz, rules the country today as required by the country's 1992 Basic Law. Following Ирак's invasion Кювейта in 1990, Саудовская Аравия accepted the Kuwaiti royal family и 400,000 беженцы while allowing Western и Arab troops to deploy on its soil for the liberation Кювейта the following year. The continuing presence of foreign troops on Saudi soil после the liberation Кювейта became a source of tension between the royal family и the public until all operational US troops left the country in 2003. Major terrorist attacks in May и November 2003 spurred a strong on-going campaign against domestic terrorism и extremism. King ABDALLAH has continued the cautious reform program begun when he was crown prince. To promote increased political participation, the government held elections nationwide from February through April 2005 for half the members of 179 municipal councils. In December 2005, King ABDALLAH completed the process by appointing the remaining members of the advisory municipal councils. The country remains a leading producer of нефть и природный газ и holds more than 20% of the world's proven нефть reserves. The government continues to pursue economic reform и diversification, particularly since Саудовская Аравия's accession to the WTO in December 2005, и promotes foreign investment in the kingdom. A burgeoning population, aquifer depletion, и an economy largely dependent on нефть output и prices are all ongoing governmental concerns.
Сенегал The French colonies Сенегала и the French Судан were merged in 1959 и granted their independence as the Мали Federation in 1960. The union broke up после only a few months. Сенегал joined with The Gambia to form the nominal confederation of Senegambia in 1982, but the envisaged integration of the two countries was never carried out, и the union was dissolved in 1989. The Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance (MFDC) has led a low-level separatist insurgency in southern Сенегал since the 1980s, и several peace deals have failed to resolve the conflict. Nevertheless, Сенегал remains один of the most stable democracies in Africa. Сенегал was ruled by a Socialist Party for 40 лет until current Президент Abdoulaye WADE was elected in 2000. He was reelected in February 2007, but complaints of fraud led opposition parties to boycott June 2007 legislative polls. Сенегал has a long history of participating in international peacekeeping.
Сербия The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, и Slovenes was formed in 1918; its name was changed to Yugoslavia in 1929. Various paramilitary bands resisted Nazi Германия's occupation и division of Yugoslavia from 1941 to 1945, but fought each other и ethnic opponents as much as the invaders. The military и political movement headed by Josip TITO (Partisans) took full control of Yugoslavia when German и Croatian separatist forces were defeated in 1945. Although Communist, TITO's new government и his successors (he died in 1980) managed to steer their own path between the Warsaw Pact nations и the West for the next four и a half decades. In 1989, Slobodan MILOSEVIC became president of the Serbian Republic и his ultranationalist calls for Serbian domination led to the violent breakup of Yugoslavia along ethnic lines. In 1991, Хорватия, Словения, и Македония declared independence, followed by Bosnia in 1992. The remaining republics Сербии и Монтенегро declared a new Federal Республика Yugoslavia (FRY) in April 1992 и under MILOSEVIC's leadership, Сербия led various military campaigns to unite ethnic Serbs in neighboring republics into a "Greater Сербия." These actions led to Yugoslavia being ousted from the UN in 1992, but Сербия continued its - ultimately unsuccessful - campaign until signing the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995. MILOSEVIC kept tight control over Сербия и eventually became president of the FRY in 1997. In 1998, an ethnic Albanian insurgency in the formerly autonomous Serbian province Косовo provoked a Serbian counterinsurgency campaign that resulted in massacres и massive expulsions of ethnic Albanians living in Косовo. The MILOSEVIC government's rejection of a proposed international settlement led to NATO's bombing Сербии in the spring of 1999 и to the eventual withdrawal of Serbian military и police forces from Косовo in June 1999. UNSC Resolution 1244 in June 1999 authorized the stationing of a NATO-led force (KFOR) in Косовo to provide a safe и secure environment for the region's ethnic communities, created a UN interim Administration Mission in Косовo (UNMIK) to foster self-governing institutions, и reserved the issue Косовo's final status for an unspecified date in the future. In 2001, UNMIK promulgated a constitutional framework that allowed Косовo to establish institutions of self-government и led to Косовo's first parliamentary election. FRY elections in September 2000 led to the ouster of MILOSEVIC и installed Vojislav KOSTUNICA as president. A broad coalition of democratic reformist parties known as DOS (the Democratic Opposition Сербии) was subsequently elected to parliament in December 2000 и took control of the government. DOS arrested MILOSEVIC in 2001 и allowed for him to be tried in The Hague for crimes against humanity. (MILOSEVIC died in March 2006 before the completion of his trial.) In 2001, the country's suspension from the UN was lifted. In 2003, the FRY became Сербия и Монтенегро, a loose федерация of the two republics with a federal level parliament. Widespread violence predominantly targeting ethnic Serbs in Косовo in March 2004 caused the international community to open negotiations on the future status Косовo in January 2006. In May 2006, Монтенегро invoked its right to secede from the федерация и - following a successful referendum - it declared itself an independent nation on 3 June 2006. Two days later, Сербия declared that it was the successor state to the union Сербии и Монтенегро. A new Serbian constitution was approved in October 2006 и adopted the following month. After 15 months of inconclusive negotiations mediated by the UN и four months of further inconclusive negotiations mediated by the US, EU, и Россия, on 17 February 2008, the UNMIK-administered province Косовo declared itself independent Сербии.
Сейшельские Острова A lengthy struggle between Франция и Great Britain for the islands ended in 1814, when they were ceded to the latter. Independence came in 1976. Socialist rule was brought to a close with a new constitution и free elections in 1993. Президент Франция-Albert RENE, who had served since 1977, was re-elected in 2001, but stepped down in 2004. Vice Президент James MICHEL took over the presidency и in July 2006 was elected to a new five-year term.
Сьерра-Леоне Democracy is slowly being reestablished после the civil war from 1991 to 2002 that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths и the displacement of more than 2 миллионов people (about один-third of the population). The military, which took over full responsibility for security following the departure of UN peacekeepers at the end of 2005, is increasingly developing as a guarantor of the country's stability. The armed forces remained on the sideline during the 2007 presidential election, but still look to the UN Integrated Office in Сьерра-Леоне (UNIOSIL) - a civilian UN mission - to support efforts to consolidate peace. The new government's priorities include furthering development, creating jobs, и stamping out endemic corruption.
Сингапур Сингапур was founded as a British trading colony in 1819. It joined the Malaysian Federation in 1963 but separated two лет later и became independent. Сингапур subsequently became один of the world's most prosperous countries with strong international trading links (its port is один of the world's busiest in terms of tonnage handled) и with per capita GDP equal to that of the leading nations of Western Europe.
Словакия The dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the close Мира War I allowed the Slovaks to join the closely related Czechs to form Czechoslovakia. Following the chaos Мира War II, Czechoslovakia became a Communist nation within Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe. Soviet influence collapsed in 1989 и Czechoslovakia once more became free. The Slovaks и the Czechs agreed to separate peacefully on 1 January 1993. Словакия joined both NATO и the EU in the spring of 2004.
Словения The Slovene lands were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the latter's dissolution at the end Мира War I. In 1918, the Slovenes joined the Serbs и Croats in forming a new multinational state, which was named Yugoslavia in 1929. After Мир War II, Словения became a republic of the renewed Yugoslavia, which though Communist, distanced itself from Moscow's rule. Dissatisfied with the exercise of power by the majority Serbs, the Slovenes succeeded in establishing their independence in 1991 после a short 10-day war. Historical ties to Western Europe, a strong economy, и a stable democracy have assisted in Словения's transformation to a modern state. Словения acceded to both NATO и the EU in the spring of 2004.
Соломоновы Острова The Великобритания established a protectorate over the Соломоновы Острова in the 1890s. Some of the bitterest fighting Мира War II occurred on this archipelago. Self-government was achieved in 1976 и independence two лет later. Ethnic violence, government malfeasance, и endemic crime have undermined stability и civil society. In June 2003, then Премьер Министр Sir Allan KEMAKEZA sought the assistance Австралии in reestablishing law и order; the following month, an Australian-led multinational force arrived to restore peace и disarm ethnic militias. The Regional Assistance Mission to the Соломоновы Острова (RAMSI) has generally been принята in restoring law и order и rebuilding government institutions.
Сомали Britain withdrew from British Somaliland in 1960 to allow its protectorate to join with Italian Somaliland и form the new nation Сомали. In 1969, a coup headed by Mohamed SIAD Barre ushered in an authoritarian socialist rule that managed to impose a degree of stability in the country for a couple of decades. After the regime's collapse early in 1991, Сомали descended into turmoil, factional fighting, и anarchy. In May 1991, northern clans declared an independent Республика Somaliland that now включая the administrative regions of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sanaag, и Sool. Although not recognized by any government, this entity has maintained a stable existence и continues efforts to establish a constitutional democracy, including holding municipal, parliamentary, и presidential elections. The regions of Bari, Nugaal, и northern Mudug comprise a neighboring self-declared autonomous state of Puntland, which has been self-governing since 1998 but does not aim at independence; it has also made strides toward reconstructing a legitimate, representative government but has suffered some civil strife. Puntland disputes its border with Somaliland as it also claims portions of eastern Sool и Sanaag. Beginning in 1993, a two-year UN humanitarian effort (primarily in the юг) was able to alleviate famine conditions, but when the UN withdrew in 1995, having suffered significant casualties, order still had not been restored. A two-year peace process, led by the Правление Кении under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), concluded in October 2004 with the election of Abdullahi YUSUF Ahmed as Президент of the Transitional Federal Правление (TFG) Сомали и the formation of an interim government, known as the Сомали Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs). The Сомали TFIs include a 275-member parliamentary body, known as the Transitional Federal Assembly (TFA), a transitional Премьер Министр, Nur "Adde" Hassan HUSSEIN, и a 90-member cabinet. The TFIs are based on the Transitional Federal Charter, which outlines a five-year mandate leading to the establishment of a new Somali constitution и a transition to a representative government following national elections. While its institutions remain weak, the TFG continues to reach out to Somali stakeholders и work with international donors to help build the governance capacity of the TFIs и work towards national elections in 2009. In June 2006, a loose coalition of clerics, business leaders, и Islamic court militias known as the Council of Islamic Courts (CIC) defeated powerful Mogadishu warlords и took control of the capital. The Courts continued to expand militarily throughout much of southern Сомали и threatened to overthrow the TFG in Baidoa. Ethiopian и TFG forces, concerned over links between some CIC factions и the al-Qaida East Africa network и the al-Qaida operatives responsible for the bombings of the US embassies in Танзания и Кения in 1998, intervened in late December 2006, resulting in the collapse of the CIC as an organization. However, the TFG continues to face violent resistance from extremist elements, such as the al-Shabaab militia previously affiliated with the now-defunct CIC.
Южно-Африканская Республика Dutch traders landed at the southern tip of modern day Южно-Африканская Республика in 1652 и established a stopover point on the spice route between the Нидерланды и the East, founding the city of Cape Town. After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the Dutch settlers (the Boers) trekked север to found their own republics. The discovery of алмазы (1867) и золото (1886) spurred wealth и immigration и intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants. The Boers resisted British encroachments but were defeated in the Boer War (1899-1902); however, the British и the Afrikaners, as the Boers became known, ruled together under the Union Южно-Африканской Республики. In 1948, the National Party was voted into power и instituted a policy of apartheid - the separate development of the races. The first multi-racial elections in 1994 brought an end to apartheid и ushered in черные majority rule.
Южная Георгия и Южные Сандвичевы острова The islands, which have large bird и seal populations, lie approximately 1,000 км восток of the Falkland Islands и have been under British administration since 1908 - except for a brief period in 1982 when Аргентина occupied them. Grytviken, on South Грузия, was a 19th и early 20th century whaling station. Famed explorer Ernest SHACKLETON stopped there in 1914 en route to his ill-fated attempt to cross Антарктика on foot. He returned some 20 months later with a few companions in a small boat и arranged a successful rescue for the rest of his crew, stranded off the Antarctic Peninsula. He died in 1922 on a subsequent expedition и is buried in Grytviken. Today, the station houses scientists from the British Antarctic Survey. Recognizing the importance of preserving the marine stocks in adjacent waters, the Великобритания, in 1993, extended the exclusive рыболовство zone from 12 миль от берега to 200 миль от берега around each island.
Южный океан A large body of recent oceanographic research has shown that the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), an ocean current that flows from запад to восток around Антарктика, plays a crucial role in global ocean circulation. The region where the cold waters of the ACC meet и mingle with the warmer waters of the север defines a distinct border - the Antarctic Convergence - which fluctuates with the seasons, but which encompasses a discrete body of water и a unique ecologic region. The Convergence concentrates nutrients, which promotes marine plant life, и which in turn allows for a greater abundance of animal life. In the spring of 2000, the Международные Hydrographic Organization decided to delimit the waters within the Convergence as a fifth world ocean - the Южный океан - by combining the southern portions of the Атлантический океан, Индийский океан, и Тихий океан. The Южный океан extends from the coast Антарктики север to 60 degrees юг latitude, which coincides with the Antarctic Treaty Limit и which approximates the extent of the Antarctic Convergence. As such, the Южный океан is now the fourth largest of the world's five oceans (после the Тихий океан, Атлантический океан, и Индийский океан, but larger than the Артический океан). It should be noted that inclusion of the Южный океан does not imply recognition of this feature as один of the world's primary oceans by the US Правление.
Испания Испания's powerful world empire of the 16th и 17th centuries ultimately yielded command of the seas to England. Subsequent failure to embrace the mercantile и industrial revolutions caused the country to fall behind Britain, Франция, и Германия in economic и political power. Испания remained neutral in Мир Wars I и II but suffered through a devastating civil war (1936-39). A peaceful transition to democracy following the death of dictator Francisco FRANCO in 1975, и rapid economic modernization (Испания joined the EU in 1986) have given Испания один of the most dynamic economies in Europe и made it a global champion of freedom. Continuing challenges include Basque Fatherland и Liberty (ETA) terrorism, illegal immigration, и slowing economic growth.
Острова Спратли The Острова Спратли consist of more than 100 small islands или reefs. They are surrounded by rich рыболовство grounds и potentially by газ и нефть deposits. They are claimed in their entirety by Китай, Тайвань, и Вьетнам, while portions are claimed by Малазия и the Филиппины. About 45 islands are occupied by relatively small numbers of military forces from Китай, Малазия, the Филиппины, Тайвань, и Вьетнам. Бруней has established a рыболовство zone that overlaps a southern reef but has not made any formal claim.
Шри-Ланка The first Sinhalese arrived in Шри-Ланка late in the 6th century B.C. probably from northern Индия. Buddhism was introduced in about the mid-third century B.C., и a great civilization developed at the cities of Anuradhapura (kingdom from circa 200 B.C. to circa A.D. 1000) и Polonnaruwa (from about 1070 to 1200). In the 14th century, a юг Indian dynasty established a Tamil kingdom in northern Шри-Ланка. The coastal areas of the island were controlled by the Portuguese in the 16th century и by the Dutch in the 17th century. The island was ceded to the British in 1796, became a crown colony in 1802, и was united under British rule by 1815. As Ceylon, it became independent in 1948; its name was changed to Шри-Ланка in 1972. Tensions between the Sinhalese majority и Tamil separatists erupted into war in 1983. Tens of thousands have died in the ethnic conflict that continues to fester. After two decades of fighting, the government и Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) formalized a cease-fire in February 2002 with Норвегия brokering peace negotiations. Violence between the LTTE и government forces intensified in 2006 и the government regained control of the Eastern Province in 2007. In January 2008, the government officially withdrew from the ceasefire, и has begun engaging the LTTE in the northern portion of the country.
Судан Армия regimes favoring Islamic-oriented governments have dominated national politics since independence from the Великобритания in 1956. Судан was embroiled in two prolonged civil wars during most of the remainder of the 20th century. These conflicts were rooted in northern economic, political, и social domination of largely non-мусульмане, non-Arab southern Sudanese. The first civil war ended in 1972 but broke out again in 1983. The second war и famine-related effects resulted in more than four миллионов people displaced и, according to rebel estimates, more than two миллионов deaths over a period of two decades. Peace talks gained momentum in 2002-04 with the signing of several accords. The final Северный/South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in January 2005, granted the southern rebels autonomy for six лет. After which, a referendum for independence is scheduled to be held. A separate conflict, which broke out in the western region of Darfur in 2003, has displaced nearly two миллионов people и caused an estimated 200,000 to 400,000 deaths. The UN took command of the Darfur peacekeeping operation from the African Union on 31 December 2007. As of early 2008, peacekeeping troops were struggling to stabilize the situation, which has become increasingly regional in scope, и has brought instability to eastern Чад , и Sudanese incursions into the Центральноафриканская Республика . Судан also has faced large refugee influxes from neighboring countries, primarily Эфиопия и Чад . Armed conflict, poor transport infrastructure, и lack of government support have chronically obstructed the provision of humanitarian assistance to affected populations.
Суринам First explored by the Spaniards in the 16th century и then settled by the английский in the mid-17th century, Суринам became a Dutch colony in 1667. With the abolition of slavery in 1863, workers were brought in from Индия и Java. Independence from the Нидерланды was granted in 1975. Five лет later the civilian government was replaced by a military regime that soon declared a socialist republic. It continued to exert control through a succession of nominally civilian administrations until 1987, when international pressure finally forced a democratic election. In 1990, the military overthrew the civilian leadership, but a democratically elected government - a four-party New Front coalition - returned to power in 1991 и has ruled since; the coalition expanded to eight parties in 2005.
Свальбард First discovered by the Norwegians in the 12th century, the islands served as an international whaling base during the 17th и 18th centuries. Норвегия's sovereignty was recognized in 1920; five лет later it officially took over the territory.
Свазиленд Autonomy for the Swazis of southern Africa was guaranteed by the British in the late 19th century; independence was granted in 1968. Student и labor unrest during the 1990s pressured King MSWATI III, the world's last absolute monarch, to grudgingly allow political reform и greater democracy, although he has backslid on these promises in recent лет. A constitution came into effect in 2006, but political parties remain banned. The African United демократическая партия tried unsuccessfully to register as an official political party in mid 2006. Talks over the constitution broke down between the government и progressive groups in 2007. Свазиленд recently surpassed Ботсвана as the country with the world's highest known HIV/AIDS prevalence rate.
Швеция A military power during the 17th century, Швеция has not participated in any war in almost two centuries. An armed neutrality was preserved in both Мир Wars. Швеция's long-successful economic formula of a capitalist system interlarded with substantial welfare elements was challenged in the 1990s by high unemployment и in 2000-02 by the global economic downturn, but fiscal discipline over the past several лет has allowed the country to weather economic vagaries. Швеция joined the EU in 1995, but the public rejected the introduction of the euro in a 2003 referendum.
Швейцария The Swiss Confederation was founded in 1291 as a defensive alliance among three cantons. In succeeding лет, other localities joined the original three. The Swiss Confederation secured its independence from the Holy Roman Empire in 1499. A constitution of 1848, subsequently modified in 1874, replaced the confederation with a centralized federal government. Швейцария's sovereignty и neutrality have long been honored by the major European powers, и the country was not involved in either of the two Мир Wars. The political и economic integration of Europe over the past half century, as well as Швейцария's role in many UN и international organizations, has strengthened Швейцария's ties with its neighbors. However, the country did not officially become a UN member until 2002. Швейцария remains active in many UN и international organizations but retains a strong commitment to neutrality.
Сирия Following the breakup of the Ottoman Empire during Мир War I, Франция administered Сирия until its independence in 1946. The country lacked political stability, however, и experienced a series of military coups during its first decades. Сирия united with Египет in February 1958 to form the United Arab Republic. In September 1961, the two entities separated, и the Syrian Arab Republic was reestablished. In November 1970, Hafiz al-ASAD, a member of the Socialist Ba'th Party и the minority Alawite sect, seized power in a bloodless coup и brought political stability to the country. In the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Сирия lost the Golan Heights to Израиль. During the 1990s, Сирия и Израиль held occasional peace talks over its return. Following the death of Президент al-ASAD, his son, Bashar al-ASAD, was approved as president by popular referendum in July 2000. Syrian troops - stationed in Ливан since 1976 in an ostensible peacekeeping role - were withdrawn in April 2005. During the July-August 2006 conflict between Израиль и Hizballah, Сирия placed its military forces on alert but did not intervene directly on behalf of its ally Hizballah.
Тайвань In 1895, military defeat forced Китай to cede Тайвань to Япония. Тайвань reverted to Chinese control после Мир War II. Following the Communist victory on the mainland in 1949, 2 миллионов Nationalists fled to Тайвань и established a government using the 1946 constitution drawn up for all Китая. Over the next five decades, the ruling authorities gradually democratized и incorporated the local population within the governing structure. In 2000, Тайвань underwent its first peaceful transfer of power from the Nationalist to the Democratic Progressive Party. Throughout this period, the island prospered и became один of East Азия's economic "Tigers." The dominant political issues continue to be the relationship between Тайвань и Китай - specifically the question of eventual unification - as well as domestic political и economic reform.
Таджикистан The Tajik people came under Russian rule in the 1860s и 1870s, but Россия's hold on Central Азия weakened following the Revolution of 1917. Bolshevik control of the area was fiercely contested и not fully reestablished until 1925. Much of present-day Sughd province was transferred from the Узбекистан SSR to newly formed Таджикистан SSR in 1929. Ethnic Uzbeks form a substantial minority in Sughd province. Таджикистан became independent in 1991 following the breakup of the Soviet Union, и it is now in the process of strengthening its democracy и transitioning to a free market economy после its 1992-97 civil war. There have been no major security incidents in recent лет, although the country remains the poorest in the former Soviet sphere. Attention by the international community in the wake of the war in Афганистан has brought increased economic development и security assistance, which could create jobs и increase stability in the long term. Таджикистан is in the early stages of seeking Мир Trade Organization membership и has joined NATO's Partnership for Peace.
Танзания Shortly после achieving independence from Britain in the early 1960s, Tanganyika и Zanzibar merged to form the nation Танзании in 1964. One-party rule came to an end in 1995 with the first democratic elections held in the country since the 1970s. Zanzibar's semi-autonomous status и popular opposition have led to two contentious elections since 1995, which the ruling party won despite international observers' claims of voting irregularities.
Таиланд A unified Thai kingdom was established in the mid-14th century. Known as Siam until 1939, Таиланд is the only Southeast азиаты country never to have been taken over by a European power. A bloodless revolution in 1932 led to a constitutional monarchy. In alliance with Япония during Мир War II, Таиланд became a US ally following the conflict. Таиланд is currently facing separatist violence in its southern ethnic Malay-мусульмане provinces.
Восточный Тимор The Portuguese began to trade with the island of Timor in the early 16th century и colonized it in mid-century. Skirmishing with the Dutch in the region eventually resulted in an 1859 treaty in which Португалия ceded the western portion of the island. Imperial Япония occupied Portuguese Timor from 1942 to 1945, but Португалия resumed colonial authority после the Japanese defeat in Мир War II. East Timor declared itself independent from Португалия on 28 November 1975 и was invaded и occupied by Indonesian forces nine days later. It was incorporated into Индонeзия in July 1976 as the province of Timor Timur (East Timor). An unsuccessful campaign of pacification followed over the next two decades, during which an estimated 100,000 to 250,000 individuals lost their lives. On 30 August 1999, in a UN-supervised popular referendum, an overwhelming majority of the people Восточного Тимора voted for independence from Индонeзия. Between the referendum и the arrival of a multinational peacekeeping force in late September 1999, anti-independence Timorese militias - organized и supported by the Indonesian military - commenced a large-scale, scorched-earth campaign of retribution. The militias killed approximately 1,400 Timorese и forcibly pushed 300,000 people into western Timor as беженцы. The majority of the country's infrastructure, including homes, irrigation systems, water supply systems, и schools, и nearly 100% of the country's electrical grid were destroyed. On 20 September 1999 the Australian-led peacekeeping troops of the Международные Force for East Timor (INTERFET) deployed to the country и brought the violence to an end. On 20 May 2002, Восточный Тимор was internationally recognized as an independent state. In late April 2006, internal tensions threatened the new nation's security when a military strike led to violence и a near breakdown of law и order in Dili. At the request of the Правление Восточного Тимора, an Australian-led Международные Stabilization Force (ISF) deployed to Восточный Тимор in late May. In August, the UN Security Council established the UN Integrated Mission in Восточный Тимор (UNMIT), which included an authorized police presence of over 1,600 personnel. In subsequent months, many of the ISF soldiers were replaced by UN police officers; approximately 80 ISF officers remained as of January 2008. From April to June 2007, the Правление Восточного Тимора held presidential и parliamentary elections in a largely peaceful atmosphere with the support и assistance of UNMIT и international donors.
Того French Togoland became Того in 1960. Gen. Gnassingbe EYADEMA, installed as military ruler in 1967, ruled Того with a heavy hand for almost four decades. Despite the facade of multiparty elections instituted in the early 1990s, the government was largely dominated by Президент EYADEMA, whose Rally of the Togolese Люди (RPT) party has maintained power almost continually since 1967 и maintains a majority of seats in today's legislature. Upon EYADEMA's death in February 2005, the military installed the president's son, Faure GNASSINGBE, и then engineered his formal election two months later. Democratic gains since then allowed Того to hold its first relatively free и fair legislative elections in October 2007. After лет of political unrest и fire from international organizations for human rights abuses, Того is finally being re-welcomed into the international community.
Токелау Originally settled by Polynesian emigrants from surrounding island groups, the Токелау Islands were made a British protectorate in 1889. They were transferred to Новая Зеландия administration in 1925. Referenda held in 2006 и 2007 to change the status of the islands from that of a Новая Зеландия territory to один of free association with Новая Зеландия did not meet the needed threshold for approval.
Тонга Тонга - unique among Pacific nations - never completely lost its indigenous governance. The archipelagos of "The Friendly Islands" were united into a Polynesian kingdom in 1845. Тонга became a constitutional monarchy in 1875 и a British protectorate in 1900; it withdrew from the protectorate и joined the Commonwealth of Nations in 1970. Тонга remains the only monarchy in the Pacific.
Тринидад и Тобаго First colonized by the испанский, the islands came under British control in the early 19th century. The islands' sugar industry was hurt by the emancipation of the slaves in 1834. Manpower was replaced with the importation of contract laborers from Индия between 1845 и 1917, which boosted sugar production as well as the cocoa industry. The discovery of нефть on Trinidad in 1910 added another important export. Independence was attained in 1962. The country is один of the most prosperous in the Caribbean thanks largely to нефть и природный газ production и processing. Tourism, mostly in Tobago, is targeted for expansion и is growing. The government is coping with a rise in violent crime.
Тунис Rivalry between French и Italian interests in Тунис culminated in a French invasion in 1881 и the creation of a protectorate. Agitation for independence in the decades following Мир War I was finally successful in getting the French to recognize Тунис as an independent state in 1956. The country's first president, Habib BOURGUIBA, established a strict один-party state. He dominated the country for 31 лет, repressing Islamic fundamentalism и establishing rights for women unmatched by any other Arab nation. In November 1987, BOURGUIBA was removed from office и replaced by Zine el Abidine BEN ALI in a bloodless coup. BEN ALI is currently serving his fourth consecutive five-year term as president; the next elections are scheduled for October 2009. Тунис has long taken a moderate, non-aligned stance in its foreign relations. Domestically, it has sought to defuse rising pressure for a more open political society.
Турция Modern Турция was founded in 1923 from the Anatolian remnants of the defeated Ottoman Empire by national hero Mustafa KEMAL, who was later honored with the title Ataturk или "Father of the Turks." Under his authoritarian leadership, the country adopted wide-ranging social, legal, и political reforms. After a period of один-party rule, an experiment with multi-party politics led to the 1950 election victory of the opposition демократическая партия и the peaceful transfer of power. Since then, Turkish political parties have multiplied, but democracy has been fractured by periods of instability и intermittent military coups (1960, 1971, 1980), which in each case eventually resulted in a return of political power to civilians. In 1997, the military again helped engineer the ouster - popularly dubbed a "post-modern coup" - of the then Islamic-oriented government. Турция intervened militarily on Кипр in 1974 to prevent a Greek takeover of the island и has since acted as patron state to the "Turkish Республика Northern Кипр," which only Турция recognizes. A separatist insurgency begun in 1984 by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - now known as the Люди's Congress of Kurdistan или Kongra-Gel (KGK) - has dominated the Turkish military's attention и claimed more than 30,000 lives. After the capture of the group's leader in 1999, the insurgents largely withdrew from Турция mainly to northern Ирак. In 2004, KGK announced an end to its ceasefire и attacks attributed to the KGK increased. Турция joined the UN in 1945 и in 1952 it became a member of NATO. In 1964, Турция became an associate member of the European Community; over the past decade, it has undertaken many reforms to strengthen its democracy и economy enabling it to begin accession membership talks with the Европейское сообщество.
Туркменистан Eastern Туркменистан for centuries formed part of the Persian province of Khurasan; in medieval times Merv (today known as Mary) was один of the great cities of the Islamic world и an important stop on the Silk Road. Annexed by Россия between 1865 и 1885, Туркменистан became a Soviet republic in 1924. It achieved independence upon the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. Extensive hydrocarbon/природный газ reserves could prove a boon to this underdeveloped country if добывающая промышленность и delivery projects were to be expanded. The Туркменистан Правление is actively seeking to develop alternative нефть транспорт routes to break Россия's pipeline monopoly. Президент for Life Saparmurat NYYAZOW died in December 2006, и Туркменистан held its first multi-candidate presidential electoral process in February 2007. Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW, a vice premier under NYYAZOW, emerged as the country's new president.
Тёркс и Кайкос The islands were part of the Великобритания's Jamaican colony until 1962, when they assumed the status of a separate crown colony upon Ямайка's independence. The governor of The Багамские Острова oversaw affairs from 1965 to 1973. With Bahamian independence, the islands received a separate governor in 1973. Although independence was agreed upon for 1982, the policy was reversed и the islands remain a British overseas territory.
Тувалу In 1974, ethnic differences within the British colony of the Gilbert и Ellice Islands caused the Polynesians of the Ellice Islands to vote for separation from the Micronesians of the Gilbert Islands. The following year, the Ellice Islands became the separate British colony Тувалу. Independence was granted in 1978. In 2000, Тувалу negotiated a contract leasing its Интернет domain name ".tv" for $50 миллионов in royalties over a 12-year period.
Угадна The colonial boundaries created by Britain to delimit Угадна grouped together a wide range of ethnic groups with different political systems и cultures. These differences prevented the establishment of a working political community после independence was achieved in 1962. The dictatorial regime of Idi AMIN (1971-79) was responsible for the deaths of some 300,000 opponents; guerrilla war и human rights abuses under Milton OBOTE (1980-85) claimed at least another 100,000 lives. The rule of Yoweri MUSEVENI since 1986 has brought relative stability и economic growth to Угадна. During the 1990s, the government promulgated non-party presidential и legislative elections.
Украина Украина was the center of the first eastern Slavic state, Kyivan Rus, which during the 10th и 11th centuries was the largest и most powerful state in Europe. Weakened by internecine quarrels и Mongol invasions, Kyivan Rus was incorporated into the Grand Duchy Литвы и eventually into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The cultural и religious legacy of Kyivan Rus laid the foundation for Ukrainian nationalism through subsequent centuries. A new Ukrainian state, the Cossack Hetmanate, was established during the mid-17th century после an uprising against the Poles. Despite continuous Muscovite pressure, the Hetmanate managed to remain autonomous for well over 100 лет. During the latter part of the 18th century, most Ukrainian ethnographic territory was absorbed by the Russian Empire. Following the collapse of czarist Россия in 1917, Украина was able to bring about a short-lived period of independence (1917-20), but was reconquered и forced to endure a brutal Soviet rule that engineered two artificial famines (1921-22 и 1932-33) in which over 8 миллионов died. In Мир War II, German и Soviet armies were responsible for some 7 to 8 миллионов more deaths. Although final independence for Украина was achieved in 1991 with the dissolution of the USSR, democracy remained elusive as the legacy of state control и endemic corruption stalled efforts at economic reform, privatization, и civil liberties. A peaceful mass protest "Orange Revolution" in the closing months of 2004 forced the authorities to overturn a rigged presidential election и to allow a new internationally monitored vote that swept into power a reformist slate under Viktor YUSHCHENKO. Subsequent internal squabbles in the YUSHCHENKO camp allowed his rival Viktor YANUKOVYCH to stage a comeback in parliamentary elections и become prime minister in August of 2006. An early legislative election, brought on by a political crisis in the spring of 2007, saw Yuliya TYMOSHENKO, as head of an "Orange" coalition, installed as a new prime minister in December 2007.
Объединенные Арабские Эмираты The Trucial States of the Persian Gulf coast granted the Великобритания control of their defense и foreign affairs in 19th century treaties. In 1971, six of these states - Abu Zaby, 'Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Ash Shariqah, Dubayy, и Umm al Qaywayn - merged to form the Объединенные Арабские Эмираты (UAE). They were joined in 1972 by Ra's al Khaymah. The UAE's per capita GDP is on par with those of leading West European nations. Its generosity with нефть revenues и its moderate foreign policy stance have allowed the UAE to play a vital role in the affairs of the region.
Великобритания As the dominant industrial и maritime power of the 19th century, the Великобритания of Great Britain и Ирландия played a leading role in developing parliamentary democracy и in advancing literature и science. At its zenith, the British Empire stretched over один-fourth of the earth's surface. The first half of the 20th century saw the Великобритания's strength seriously depleted in two Мир Wars и the Irish republic withdraw from the union. The second half witnessed the dismantling of the Empire и the Великобритания rebuilding itself into a modern и prosperous European nation. As один of five permanent members of the UN Security Council, a founding member of NATO, и of the Commonwealth, the Великобритания pursues a global approach to foreign policy; it currently is weighing the degree of its integration with continental Europe. A member of the EU, it chose to remain outside the Economic и Monetary Union for the time being. Constitutional reform is also a significant issue in the Великобритания. The Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, и the Northern Ирландия Assembly were established in 1999, but the latter was suspended until May 2007 due to wrangling over the peace process.
США Britain's American colonies broke with the mother country in 1776 и were recognized as the new nation of the США of America following the Treaty of Paris in 1783. During the 19th и 20th centuries, 37 new states were added to the original 13 as the nation expanded across the Северный American continent и acquired a number of overseas possessions. The two most traumatic experiences in the nation's history were the Civil War (1861-65), in which a northern Union of states defeated a secessionist Confederacy of 11 southern slave states, и the Great Depression of the 1930s, an economic downturn during which about a quarter of the labor force lost its jobs. Buoyed by victories in Мир Wars I и II и the end of the Cold War in 1991, the US remains the world's most powerful nation state. The economy is marked by steady growth, low unemployment и inflation, и rapid advances in technology.
Малые Тихоокеанские отдаленные острова Соединенных Штатов All of the following US Pacific island territories except Midway Atoll constitute the Pacific Remote Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex и as such are managed by the Fish и Wildlife Service of the US Department of the Interior. Midway Atoll NWR has been included in a Refuge Complex with the Hawaiian Islands NWR и also designated as part of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. These remote refuges are the most widespread collection of marine- и terrestrial-life protected areas on the planet under a single country's jurisdiction. They sustain many endemic species including corals, рыба, shellfish, marine mammals, seabirds, water birds, land birds, insects, и vegetation not found elsewhere.
Baker Island: The US took possession of the island in 1857, и its guano deposits were mined by US и British companies during the second half of the 19th century. In 1935, a short-lived attempt at colonization began on this island but was disrupted by Мир War II и thereafter abandoned. The island was established as a National Wildlife Refuge in 1974.
Howland Island: Discovered by the US early in the 19th century, the uninhabited atoll was officially claimed by the US in 1857. Both US и British companies mined for guano deposits until about 1890. In 1935, a short-lived attempt at colonization began on this island, similar to the effort on nearby Baker Island, but was disrupted by Мир War II и thereafter abandoned. The famed American aviatrix Amelia EARHART disappeared while seeking out Howland Island as a refueling stop during her 1937 round-the-world flight; Earhart Light, a day beacon near the middle of the запад coast, was named in her memory. The island was established as a National Wildlife Refuge in 1974.
Jarvis Island: First discovered by the British in 1821, the uninhabited island was annexed by the US in 1858, but abandoned in 1879 после тонны of guano had been removed. The Великобритания annexed the island in 1889, but never carried out plans for further exploitation. The US occupied и reclaimed the island in 1935 until it was abandoned in 1942 during Мир War II. The island was established as a National Wildlife Refuge in 1974.
Johnston Atoll: Both the US и the Kingdom of Hawaii annexed Johnston Atoll in 1858, but it was the US that mined the guano deposits until the late 1880s. Johnston и Sand Islands were designated wildlife refuges in 1926. The US Navy took over the atoll in 1934, и subsequently the US Air Force assumed control in 1948. The site was used for high-altitude nuclear tests in the 1950s и 1960s, и until late in 2000 the atoll was maintained as a storage и disposal site for chemical weapons. Munitions destruction, cleanup, и closure of the facility was completed by May 2005. The Fish и Wildlife Service и the US Air Force are currently discussing future management options; in the interim, Johnston Atoll и the three-mile Naval Defensive Sea around it remain under the jurisdiction и administrative control of the US Air Force.
Kingman Reef: The US annexed the reef in 1922. Its sheltered lagoon served as a way station for flying boats on Hawaii-to-Американское Самоа flights during the late 1930s. There are no terrestrial plants on the reef, which is frequently awash, but it does support abundant и diverse marine fauna и flora. In 2001, the waters surrounding the reef out to 12 миль от берега were designated a US National Wildlife Refuge.
Midway Islands: The US took formal possession of the islands in 1867. The laying of the trans-Pacific cable, which passed through the islands, brought the first residents in 1903. Between 1935 и 1947, Midway was used as a refueling stop for trans-Pacific flights. The US naval victory over a Japanese fleet off Midway in 1942 was один of the turning points Мира War II. The islands continued to serve as a naval station until closed in 1993. Today the islands are a National Wildlife Refuge и are the site of the world's largest Laysan albatross colony.
Palmyra Atoll: The Kingdom of Hawaii claimed the atoll in 1862, и the US included it among the Hawaiian Islands when it annexed the archipelago in 1898. The Hawaii Statehood Act of 1959 did not include Palmyra Atoll, which is now partly privately owned by the Nature Conservancy with the rest owned by the Federal government и managed by the US Fish и Wildlife Service. These organizations are managing the atoll as a wildlife refuge. The lagoons и surrounding waters within the 12 миль от берега US territorial seas were transferred to the US Fish и Wildlife Service и designated as a National Wildlife Refuge in January 2001.
Уругвай Montevideo, founded by the испанский in 1726 as a military stronghold, soon took advantage of its natural harbor to become an important commercial center. Claimed by Аргентина but annexed by Бразилия in 1821, Уругвай declared its independence four лет later и secured its freedom in 1828 после a three-year struggle. The administrations of Президент Jose BATLLE in the early 20th century established widespread political, social, и economic reforms that established a statist tradition. A violent Marxist urban guerrilla movement named the Tupamaros, launched in the late 1960s, led Уругвай's president to cede control of the government to the military in 1973. By yearend, the rebels had been crushed, but the military continued to expand its hold over the government. Civilian rule was not restored until 1985. In 2004, the left-of-center Frente Amplio Coalition won national elections that effectively ended 170 лет of political control previously held by the Colorado и Blanco parties. Уругвай's political и labor conditions are among the freest on the continent.
Узбекистан Россия conquered Узбекистан in the late 19th century. Stiff resistance to the Red Army после Мир War I was eventually suppressed и a socialist republic set up in 1924. During the Soviet era, intensive production of "белые золото" (хлопок) и grain led to overuse of agrochemicals и the depletion of water supplies, which have left the land poisoned и the Aral Sea и certain rivers half dry. Independent since 1991, the country seeks to gradually lessen its dependence on agriculture while developing its mineral и нефть reserves. Current concerns include terrorism by Islamic militants, economic stagnation, и the curtailment of human rights и democratization.
Вануату Multiple waves of colonizers, each speaking a distinct language, migrated to the New Hebrides in the millennia preceding European exploration in the 18th century. This settlement pattern accounts for the complex linguistic diversity found on the archipelago to this day. The British и French, who settled the New Hebrides in the 19th century, agreed in 1906 to an Anglo-French Condominium, which administered the islands until independence in 1980, when the new name Вануату was adopted.
Венесуэлa Венесуэлa was один of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Колумбия in 1830 (the others being Эквадор и New Granada, which became Колумбия). For most of the first half of the 20th century, Венесуэлa was ruled by generally benevolent military strongmen, who promoted the нефть industry и allowed for some social reforms. Democratically elected governments have held sway since 1959. Hugo CHAVEZ, president since 1999, seeks to implement his "21st Century Socialism," which purports to alleviate social ills while at the same time attacking globalization и undermining regional stability. Current concerns include: a weakening of democratic institutions, political polarization, a politicized military, drug-related violence along the Colombian border, increasing internal drug consumption, overdependence on the нефть industry with its price fluctuations, и irresponsible добыча полезных ископаемых operations that are endangering the rain forest и indigenous peoples.
Вьетнам The conquest Вьетнама by Франция began in 1858 и was completed by 1884. It became part of French Indochina in 1887. Вьетнам declared independence после Мир War II, but Франция continued to rule until its 1954 defeat by Communist forces under Ho Chi MINH. Under the Geneva Accords of 1954, Вьетнам was divided into the Communist Северный и anti-Communist South. US economic и military aid to South Вьетнам grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the government, but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973. Two лет later, Северный Vietnamese forces overran the South reuniting the country under Communist rule. Despite the return of peace, for over a decade the country experienced little economic growth because of conservative leadership policies. However, since the enactment Вьетнама's "doi moi" (renovation) policy in 1986, Vietnamese authorities have committed to increased economic liberalization и enacted structural reforms needed to modernize the economy и to produce more competitive, export-driven industries. The country continues to experience protests from various groups - such as the протестанты Montagnard ethnic minority population of the Central Highlands и the Hoa Hao Buddhists in southern Вьетнам over religious persecution. Montagnard grievances also include the loss of land to Vietnamese settlers.
Виргинские Острова (Британские) During the 17th century, the archipelago was divided into two territorial units, один английский и the other Danish. Sugarcane, produced by slave labor, drove the islands' economy during the 18th и early 19th centuries. In 1917, the US purchased the Danish portion, which had been in economic decline since the abolition of slavery in 1848.
Остров Уэйк The US annexed Остров Уэйк in 1899 for a cable station. An important air и naval base was constructed in 1940-41. In December 1941, the island was captured by the Japanese и held until the end Мира War II. In subsequent лет, Wake was developed as a stopover и refueling site for military и commercial самолеты transiting the Pacific. Since 1974, the island's airstrip has been used by the US military, as well as for emergency landings. All operations on the island were suspended и all personnel evacuated in August 2006 with the approach of super typhoon IOKE (category 5), which struck the island with sustained winds of 250 kph и a 6 m storm surge inflicting major damage. A US Air Force assessment и repair team returned to the island in September и restored limited function to the airfield и facilities. The future status of activities on the island will be determined upon completion of the survey и assessment.
Уоллис и Футуна The Futuna island group was discovered by the Dutch in 1616 и Wallis by the British in 1767, but it was the French who declared a protectorate over the islands in 1842. In 1959, the inhabitants of the islands voted to become a French overseas territory.
Западный берег Иордании The September 1993 Израиль-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Правление Arrangements provided for a transitional period of Palestinian self-rule in the Западный берег Иордании и Сектор Газa. Under a series of agreements signed between May 1994 и September 1999, Израиль transferred to the Palestinian Authority (PA) security и civilian responsibility for Palestinian-populated areas of the Западный берег Иордании и Gaza. Negotiations to determine the permanent status of the Западный берег Иордании и Gaza stalled following the outbreak of an intifada in September 2000, as Israeli forces reoccupied most Palestinian-controlled areas. In April 2003, the Quartet (US, EU, UN, и Россия) presented a roadmap to a final settlement of the conflict by 2005 based on reciprocal steps by the two parties leading to two states, Израиль и a democratic Palestine. The proposed date for a permanent status agreement was postponed indefinitely due to violence и accusations that both sides had not followed through on their commitments. Following Palestinian leader Yasir ARAFAT's death in late 2004, Mahmud ABBAS was elected PA president in January 2005. A month later, Израиль и the PA agreed to the Sharm el-Sheikh Commitments in an effort to move the peace process forward. In September 2005, Израиль unilaterally withdrew all its settlers и soldiers и dismantled its military facilities in the Сектор Газa и withdrew settlers и redeployed soldiers from four small northern Западный берег Иордании settlements. Nonetheless, Израиль controls maritime, airspace, и most access to the Сектор Газa. A November 2005 PA-Israeli agreement authorized the reopening of the Rafah border crossing between the Сектор Газa и Египет under joint PA и Egyptian control. In January 2006, the Islamic Resistance Movement, HAMAS, won control of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). The international community refused to accept the HAMAS-led government because it did not recognize Израиль, would not renounce violence, и refused to honor previous peace agreements between Израиль и the PA. HAMAS took control of the PA government in March 2006, but Президент ABBAS had little success negotiating with HAMAS to present a political platform acceptable to the international community so as to lift economic sanctions on Palestinians. The PLC was unable to convene throughout most of 2006 as a result Израиля's detention of many HAMAS PLC members и Israeli-imposed travel restrictions on other PLC members. Violent clashes took place between Fatah и HAMAS supporters in the Сектор Газa in 2006 и early 2007, resulting in numerous Palestinian deaths и injuries. ABBAS и HAMAS Political Bureau Chief MISHAL in February 2007 signed the Mecca Agreement in Саудовская Аравия that resulted in the formation of a Palestinian National Unity Правление (NUG) headed by HAMAS member Ismail HANIYA. However, fighting continued in the Сектор Газa, и in June, HAMAS militants succeeded in a violent takeover of all military и governmental institutions in the Сектор Газa. ABBAS dismissed the NUG и through a series of presidential decrees formed a PA government in the Западный берег Иордании led by independent Salam FAYYAD. HAMAS rejected the NUG's dismissal и has called for resuming talks with Fatah, but ABBAS has ruled out negotiations until HAMAS agrees to a return of PA control over the Сектор Газa и recognizes the FAYYAD-led government. FAYYAD и his PA government initiated a series of security и economic reforms to improve conditions in the Западный берег Иордании. ABBAS participated in talks with Израиль's Премьер Министр OLMERT и secured the release of some Palestinian prisoners и previously withheld customs revenue. During a November 2007 international meeting in Annapolis Maryland, ABBAS и OLMERT agreed to resume peace negotiations with the goal of reaching a final peace settlement by the end of 2008.
Западная Сахара Мороккo virtually annexed the northern two-thirds Западной Сахары (formerly испанский Sahara) in 1976, и the rest of the territory in 1979, following Мавритания's withdrawal. A guerrilla war with the Polisario Front contesting Rabat's sovereignty ended in a 1991 UN-brokered cease-fire; a UN-organized referendum on final status has been repeatedly postponed. In April 2007, Мороккo presented an autonomy plan for the territory to the UN, which the U.S. considers serious и credible. The Polisario also presented a plan to the UN in 2007. Since June 2007, representatives from the Правление Мороккo и the Polisario Front have met four times to negotiate the status Западной Сахары.
Мир Globally, the 20th century was marked by: (a) two devastating world wars; (b) the Great Depression of the 1930s; (c) the end of vast colonial empires; (d) rapid advances in science и technology, from the first airplane flight at Kitty Hawk, Северный Carolina (US) to the landing on the moon; (e) the Cold War between the Western alliance и the Warsaw Pact nations; (f) a sharp rise in living standards in Северная Америка, Europe, и Япония; (g) increased concerns about the environment, including loss of forests, shortages of энергия и water, the decline in biological diversity, и air pollution; (h) the onset of the AIDS epidemic; и (i) the ultimate emergence of the US as the only world superpower. The planet's population continues to explode: from 1 миллиардов: in 1820, to 2 миллиардов: in 1930, 3 миллиардов: in 1960, 4 миллиардов: in 1974, 5 миллиардов: in 1988, и 6 миллиардов: in 2000. For the 21st century, the continued exponential growth in science и technology raises both hopes (e.g., advances in medicine) и fears (e.g., development of even more lethal weapons of war).
Емен Северный Емен 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 became South Емен. Three лет later, the southern government adopted a Marxist orientation. The massive exodus of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis from the юг to the север contributed to two decades of hostility between the states. The two countries were formally unified as the Республика Емен in 1990. A southern secessionist movement in 1994 was quickly subdued. In 2000, Саудовская Аравия и Емен agreed to a delimitation of their border.
Замбия The territory of Northern Rhodesia was administered by the [British] Южно-Африканская Республика Company from 1891 until it was taken over by the Великобритания in 1923. During the 1920s и 1930s, advances in добыча полезных ископаемых spurred development и immigration. The name was changed to Замбия upon independence in 1964. In the 1980s и 1990s, declining медь prices и a prolonged drought hurt the economy. Elections in 1991 brought an end to один-party rule, but the subsequent vote in 1996 saw blatant harassment of opposition parties. The election in 2001 was marked by administrative problems with three parties filing a legal petition challenging the election of ruling party candidate Levy MWANAWASA. The new president launched an anticorruption investigation in 2002 to probe high-level corruption during the previous administration. In 2006-07, this task force successfully prosecuted four cases, including a landmark civil case in the Великобритания in which former Президент CHILUBA и numerous others were found liable for USD 41 миллионов. MWANAWASA was reelected in 2006 in an election that was deemed free и fair.
Зимбабве The Великобритания annexed Southern Rhodesia from the [British] Южно-Африканская Республика Company in 1923. A 1961 constitution was formulated that favored whites in power. In 1965 the government unilaterally declared its independence, but the Великобритания did not recognize the act и demanded more complete voting rights for the черные African majority in the country (then called Rhodesia). UN sanctions и a guerrilla uprising finally led to free elections in 1979 и independence (as Зимбабве ) in 1980. Robert MUGABE, the nation's first prime minister, has been the country's only ruler (as president since 1987) и has dominated the country's political system since independence. His chaotic land redistribution campaign, which began in 2000, caused an exodus of белые farmers, crippled the economy, и ushered in widespread shortages of basic commodities. Ignoring international condemnation, MUGABE rigged the 2002 presidential election to ensure his reelection. The ruling ZANU-PF party used fraud и intimidation to win a two-thirds majority in the March 2005 parliamentary election, allowing it to amend the constitution at will и recreate the Senate, which had been abolished in the late 1980s. In April 2005, Harare embarked on Operation Restore Order, ostensibly an urban rationalization program, which resulted in the destruction of the homes или businesses of 700,000 mostly poor supporters of the opposition. Президент MUGABE in June 2007 instituted price controls on all basic commodities causing panic buying и leaving store shelves empty for months. General elections held in March 2008 contained irregularities but still amounted to a censure of the ZANU-PF-led government with significant gains in opposition seats in parliament. MDC opposition leader Morgan TSVANGIRAI won the presidential polls, и may have won an out right majority, but official results posted by the Зимбабве Electoral Committee did not reflect this. In the свинец up to a run-off election in late June 2008, considerable violence enacted against opposition party members led to the withdrawal of TSVANGIRAI from the ballot. Extensive evidence of vote tampering и ballot-box stuffing resulted in international condemnation of the process, и calls for the creation of a power-sharing government have been ignored.

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