Lebanon (/ (listen); Arabic: Lubnān; Lebanese pronunciation: ; French: Liban), officially known as the Lebanese Republic (Arabic: al-Jumhūrīyah al-Lubnānīyah; Lebanese pronunciation: ; French: République libanaise), is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, while Cyprus is west across the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon's location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland facilitated its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. At just 10,452 km (4,036 sq. mi.), it is the smallest recognized sovereign state on the mainland Asian continent.