buffer country

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Noun1.buffer country - a small neutral state between two rival powers
country, land, state - the territory occupied by a nation; "he returned to the land of his birth"; "he visited several European countries"
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References in periodicals archive ?
At the panel "Regional Security Outlook: A New Strategy for Turbulent Middle East?" the focus was on how Turkey has become a safe haven and buffer country for refugees, how the flow of refugees out of Turkey and toward the EU is set to continue and how these refugees will not, in fact, return.