The demise of the Soviet Union, and the emergence of independent republics in its wake, have had profound implications for the regions on its periphery. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Caucasus and Central Asia. The essays in this book explore the complex ways in which these republics have found both independence and a new regional identity in their relations with the neighbouring Middle East.
Religion, hydro-carbons, transportation needs and ethnic relations with the Gulf States have been rediscovered by the new republics, the study of which provides the basic subject matter for the book. The interests and activities of other regional powers are not excluded, with particular attention being given to the playing out of Russian, Turkish and American interests in countering the perceived rise of political Islam in the Caucasus and Central Asia.