Lebanon is a country located in the Middle East on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Syria and Israel. Lebanon's rugged terrain and location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland has helped isolate, protect and develop numerous factional groups within the country. The government system is a republic. The chief of state is the President and the head of government is the Prime Minister. Lebanon has a free-market economy and a strong laissez-faire commercial tradition.