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Azerbaijan, See : Flags, Maps

Azerbaijan (Middle East)

Introduction ::Azerbaijan

Background:

Azerbaijan - a nation with a majority-Turkic and majority-Muslim population - was briefly independent from 1918 to 1920; it regained its independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Despite a 1994 cease-fire, Azerbaijan has yet to resolve its conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated region that Moscow recognized as part of Soviet Azerbaijan in the 1920s after Armenia and Azerbaijan disputed the status of the territory. Armenia and Azerbaijan began fighting over the area in 1988; the struggle escalated after both countries attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By May 1994, when a cease-fire took hold, ethnic Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also seven surrounding provinces in the territory of Azerbaijan. Corruption in the country is ubiquitous, and the government, which eliminated presidential term limits in a 2009 referendum, has been accused of authoritarianism. Although the poverty rate has been reduced in recent years due to revenue from oil production, the promise of widespread wealth resulting from the continued development of Azerbaijan's energy sector remains largely unfulfilled.

Geography ::Azerbaijan


View Larger Map

Location:

Southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and
Russia, with a small European portion north of the Caucasus range

Geographic coordinates:
40 30 N, 47 30 E

Map references:

Middle East

Area:

total: 86,600 sq km country comparison to the world: 112 land: 82,629 sq km

water: 3,971 sq km

note: includes the exclave of Naxcivan Autonomous Republic and the Nagorno-Karabakh region; the region's autonomy was abolished by Azerbaijani Supreme Soviet on 26 November 1991

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Maine

Land boundaries:

total: 2,013 km

border countries: Armenia (with Azerbaijan-proper) 566 km, Armenia (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 221 km, Georgia 322 km, Iran (with Azerbaijan-proper) 432 km, Iran (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 179 km, Russia 284 km, Turkey 9 km

Coastline:

0 km (landlocked); note - Azerbaijan borders the Caspian Sea (713 km)

Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)

Climate:

dry, semiarid steppe

Terrain:

large, flat Kur-Araz Ovaligi (Kura-Araks Lowland) (much of it below sea level) with Great Caucasus Mountains to the north, Qarabag Yaylasi (Karabakh Upland) in west; Baku lies on Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) that juts into Caspian Sea

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m

highest point: Bazarduzu Dagi 4,485 m

Natural resources:

petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, nonferrous metals, bauxite

Land use:

arable land: 20.62%

permanent crops: 2.61%

other: 76.77% (2005)

Irrigated land:

14,550 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

30.3 cu km (1997)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 17.25 cu km/yr (5%/28%/68%)

per capita: 2,051 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

droughts

Environment - current issues:

local scientists consider the Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) (including Baku and Sumqayit) and the Caspian Sea to be the ecologically most devastated area in the world because of severe air, soil, and water pollution; soil pollution results from oil spills, from the use of DDT pesticide, and from toxic defoliants used in the production of cotton

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate
Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species,
Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship
Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

both the main area of the country and the Naxcivan exclave are landlocked

People ::Azerbaijan

Population:

8,303,512 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 91

Age structure:

0-14 years: 23.9% (male 1,042,132/female 926,495)

15-64 years: 69.4% (male 2,807,717/female 2,908,221)

65 years and over: 6.7% (male 204,410/female 349,697) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 28.5 years

male: 26.9 years

female: 30.3 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.805% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 137

Birth rate:

17.75 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 114

Death rate:

8.28 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 94

Net migration rate:

-1.42 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 168

Urbanization:

urban population: 52% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.124 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.13 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.58 male(s)/female

total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 52.84 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 46 male: 58.37 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 46.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 67.01 years country comparison to the world: 156 male: 62.86 years

female: 71.67 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.03 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 126

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

less than 0.2% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 109

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

7,800 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 113

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 100 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 153

Nationality:

noun: Azerbaijani(s)

adjective: Azerbaijani

Ethnic groups:

Azeri 90.6%, Dagestani 2.2%, Russian 1.8%, Armenian 1.5%, other 3.9% (1999 census)

note: almost all Armenians live in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region

Religions:

Muslim 93.4%, Russian Orthodox 2.5%, Armenian Orthodox 2.3%, other 1.8% (1995 est.)

note: religious affiliation is still nominal in Azerbaijan; percentages for actual practicing adherents are much lower

Languages:

Azerbaijani (Azeri) (official) 90.3%, Lezgi 2.2%, Russian 1.8%,
Armenian 1.5%, other 3.3%, unspecified 1% (1999 census)

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 98.8%

male: 99.5%

female: 98.2% (1999 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 13 years

male: 13 years

female: 13 years (2008)

Education expenditures:

1.9% of GDP (2008) country comparison to the world: 171

Government ::Azerbaijan

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Azerbaijan

conventional short form: Azerbaijan

local long form: Azarbaycan Respublikasi

local short form: Azarbaycan

former: Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic

Government type:

republic

Capital:

name: Baku (Baki, Baky)

geographic coordinates: 40 23 N, 49 52 E

time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions:

59 rayons (rayonlar; rayon - singular), 11 cities (saharlar; sahar - singular), 1 autonomous republic (muxtar respublika)

rayons: Abseron Rayonu, Agcabadi Rayonu, Agdam Rayonu, Agdas Rayonu,
Agstafa Rayonu, Agsu Rayonu, Astara Rayonu, Balakan Rayonu, Barda
Rayonu, Beylaqan Rayonu, Bilasuvar Rayonu, Cabrayil Rayonu,
Calilabad Rayonu, Daskasan Rayonu, Davaci Rayonu, Fuzuli Rayonu,
Gadabay Rayonu, Goranboy Rayonu, Goycay Rayonu, Haciqabul Rayonu,
Imisli Rayonu, Ismayilli Rayonu, Kalbacar Rayonu, Kurdamir Rayonu,
Lacin Rayonu, Lankaran Rayonu, Lerik Rayonu, Masalli Rayonu,
Neftcala Rayonu, Oguz Rayonu, Qabala Rayonu, Qax Rayonu, Qazax
Rayonu, Qobustan Rayonu, Quba Rayonu, Qubadli Rayonu, Qusar Rayonu,
Saatli Rayonu, Sabirabad Rayonu, Saki Rayonu, Salyan Rayonu, Samaxi
Rayonu, Samkir Rayonu, Samux Rayonu, Siyazan Rayonu, Susa Rayonu,
Tartar Rayonu, Tovuz Rayonu, Ucar Rayonu, Xacmaz Rayonu, Xanlar
Rayonu, Xizi Rayonu, Xocali Rayonu, Xocavand Rayonu, Yardimli
Rayonu, Yevlax Rayonu, Zangilan Rayonu, Zaqatala Rayonu, Zardab
Rayonu

cities: Ali Bayramli Sahari, Baki Sahari, Ganca Sahari, Lankaran Sahari, Mingacevir Sahari, Naftalan Sahari, Saki Sahari, Sumqayit Sahari, Susa Sahari, Xankandi Sahari, Yevlax Sahari

autonomous republic: Naxcivan Muxtar Respublikasi (Nakhichevan)

Independence:

30 August 1991 (declared from the Soviet Union); 18 October 1991 (adopted by the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan)

National holiday:

Founding of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, 28 May (1918)

Constitution:

adopted 12 November 1995; modified by referendum 24 August 2002

Legal system:

based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Ilham ALIYEV (since 31 October 2003)

head of government: Prime Minister Artur RASIZADE (since 4 November 2003); First Deputy Prime Minister Yaqub EYYUBOV (since June 2006)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for unlimited terms); election last held on 15 October 2008 (next to be held in October 2013); prime minister and first deputy prime minister appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly

election results: Ilham ALIYEV reelected president; percent of vote - Ilham ALIYEV 89%, Igbal AGHAZADE 2.9%, five other candidates with smaller percentages

note: several political parties boycotted the election due to unfair conditions; OSCE observers concluded that the election did not meet international standards

Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly or Milli Mejlis (125 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held on 7 November 2010 (next to be held in November 2015)

election results: percent of vote by party - YAP 45.8%, CSP 1.6%,
Motherland 1.4%, independents 48.2%, other 3.1%; seats by party -
YAP 71, CSP 3, Motherland 2, Democratic Reforms 1, Great Creation 1,
Hope Party 1, Social Welfare 1, Civil Unity 1, Whole Azerbaijan
Popular Front 1, Justice 1, independents 42

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders:

Azerbaijan Democratic Party or ADP [Sardar JALALOGLU]; Civil
Solidarity Party or CSP [Sabir RUSTAMKHANLI]; Civil Unity Party
[Sabir HACIYEV]; Classic People's Front of Azerbaijan [Mirmahmud
MIRALI-OGLU]; Democratic Reform Party [Asim MOLLAZADE]; Great
Creation Party [Fazil Gazanfaroglu MUSTAFAYEV]; Hope (Umid) Party
[Iqbal AGAZADE]; Justice Party [Ilyas ISMAYILOV]; Liberal Party of
Azerbaijan [Lala Shovkat HACIYEVA]; Motherland Party [Fazail
AGAMALI]; Musavat (Equality) [Isa GAMBAR, chairman]; Open Society
Party [Rasul GULIYEV, in exile in the US]; Social Democratic Party
of Azerbaijan or SDP [Araz ALIZADE and Ayaz MUTALIBOV (in exile)];
Social Welfare Party [Hussein KAZIMLI]; United Popular Azerbaijan
Front Party or AXCP [Ali KARIMLI]; Whole Azerbaijan Popular Front
Party [Gudrat HASANGULIYEV]; Yeni (New) Azerbaijan Party or YAP
[President Ilham ALIYEV]

note: opposition parties regularly factionalize and form new parties

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Azerbaijan Public Forum [Eldar NAMAZOV]; Karabakh Liberation
Organization

International organization participation:

ADB, BSEC, CE, CICA, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, GCTU, GUAM, IAEA,
IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO,
Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM (observer),
OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD,
UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Yashar ALIYEV

chancery: 2741 34th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 337-3500
FAX: [1] (202) 337-5911

Consulate(s) general: Los Angeles

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Matthew BRYZA

embassy: 83 Azadlig Prospecti, Baku AZ1007

mailing address: American Embassy Baku, US Department of State, 7050 Baku Place, Washington, DC 20521-7050

telephone: [994] (12) 4980-335 through 337
FAX: [994] (12) 4656-671

Flag description:

three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), red, and green; a crescent and eight-pointed star in white are centered in the red band; the blue band recalls Azerbaijan's Turkic heritage, red stands for modernization and progress, and green refers to Islam; the crescent moon is an Islamic symbol, while the eight-pointed star represents the eight Turkic peoples of the world

National anthem:

name: "Azerbaijan Marsi" (March of Azerbaijan)

lyrics/music: Ahmed JAVAD/Uzeyir HAJIBEYOV

note: adopted 1992; although originally written in 1919 during a brief period of independence, "Azerbaijan Marsi" did not become the official anthem until after the dissolution of the Soviet Union

Economy ::Azerbaijan

Economy - overview:

Azerbaijan's high economic growth during 2006-08 was attributable to large and growing oil exports, but some non-export sectors also featured double-digit growth, spurred by growth in the construction, banking, and real estate sectors. In 2009, economic growth remained above 9% even as oil prices moderated and growth in the construction sector cooled. In 2010, economic growth slowed to approximately 3.7%, although the impact of the global financial crisis was less severe than in many other countries in the region. The current global economic slowdown presents some challenges for the Azerbaijani economy as oil prices remain below their mid-2008 highs, highlighting Azerbaijan's reliance on energy exports and lackluster attempts to diversify its economy. Azerbaijan's oil production increased dramatically in 1997, when Azerbaijan signed the first production-sharing arrangement (PSA) with the Azerbaijan International Operating Company. Oil exports through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline remain the main economic driver while efforts to boost Azerbaijan's gas production are underway. However, Azerbaijan has made only limited progress on instituting market-based economic reforms. Pervasive public and private sector corruption and structural economic inefficiencies remain a drag on long-term growth, particularly in non-energy sectors. Several other obstacles impede Azerbaijan's economic progress: the need for stepped up foreign investment in the non-energy sector and the continuing conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Trade with Russia and the other former Soviet republics is declining in importance, while trade is building with Turkey and the nations of Europe. Long-term prospects will depend on world oil prices, the location of new oil and gas pipelines in the region, and Azerbaijan's ability to manage its energy wealth to promote sustainable growth in non-energy sectors of the economy and spur employment.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$90.15 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 73 $86.93 billion (2009 est.)

$79.54 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$52.17 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

3.7% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 90 9.3% (2009 est.)

10.8% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$11,000 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 102 $10,600 (2009 est.)

$9,700 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 5.5%

industry: 61.4%

services: 33.1% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

5.874 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 65

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 38.3%

industry: 12.1%

services: 49.6% (2008)

Unemployment rate:

0.9% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 3 6% (2009 est.)

Population below poverty line:

11% (2009 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 6.1%

highest 10%: 17.5% (2005)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

36.5 (2001) country comparison to the world: 81 36 (1995)

Investment (gross fixed):

17.3% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 116

Public debt:

4.6% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 128 6.7% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

5.1% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 146 1.5% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

2% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 53 8% (31 December 2008)

note: this is the Refinancing Rate, the key policy rate for the National Bank of Azerbaijan

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

20.03% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 20 19.76% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$7.34 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 77 $6.519 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$11.64 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 96 $10.54 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$8.135 billion (31 December 2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 100 $5.726 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA

Agriculture - products:

cotton, grain, rice, grapes, fruit, vegetables, tea, tobacco; cattle, pigs, sheep, goats

Industries:

petroleum and natural gas, petroleum products, oilfield equipment; steel, iron ore; cement; chemicals and petrochemicals; textiles

Industrial production growth rate:

3.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 91

Electricity - production:

18.6 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 72

Electricity - consumption:

18 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 71

Electricity - exports:

786 million kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports:

548 million kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production:

1.011 million bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 23

Oil - consumption:

136,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 70

Oil - exports:

528,900 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 29

Oil - imports:

2,848 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 169

Oil - proved reserves:

7 billion bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 19

Natural gas - production:

23 billion cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 30

Natural gas - consumption:

10.12 billion cu m (2008) country comparison to the world: 47

Natural gas - exports:

5.564 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 25

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 72

Natural gas - proved reserves:

849.5 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 27

Current account balance:

$15.96 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 19 $10.18 billion (2009 est.)

Exports:

$28.07 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 63 $21.1 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

oil and gas 90%, machinery, cotton, foodstuffs

Exports - partners:

Italy 20.69%, India 10.67%, US 9.24%, France 8.15%, Germany 7.62%,
Indonesia 6.63%, Canada 5.13% (2009)

Imports:

$7.035 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 103 $6.514 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, oil products, foodstuffs, metals, chemicals

Imports - partners:

Turkey 18.69%, Russia 16.98%, Germany 7.87%, Ukraine 7.3%, China 6.18%, UK 5.73% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$6.33 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 62 $5.364 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$3.221 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 124 $3.44 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$8.918 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 80 $8.318 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$6.058 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 58 $5.558 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

Azerbaijani manats (AZN) per US dollar - 0.8035 (2010), 0.8038 (2009), 0.8219 (2008), 0.8581 (2007), 0.8934 (2006)

Communications ::Azerbaijan

Telephones - main lines in use:

1.397 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 68

Telephones - mobile cellular:

7.757 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 74

Telephone system:

general assessment: requires considerable expansion and modernization; fixed-line telephony and a broad range of other telecom services are controlled by a state-owned telecommunications monopoly and growth has been stagnant; more competition exists in the mobile-cellular market with four providers in 2009

domestic: teledensity of 17 fixed lines per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity has increased and is rapidly approaching 100 telephones per 100 persons; satellite service connects Baku to a modern switch in its exclave of Nakhchivan

international: country code - 994; the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic link transits Azerbaijan providing international connectivity to neighboring countries; the old Soviet system of cable and microwave is still serviceable; satellite earth stations - 2 (2009)

Broadcast media:

1 state-run and 1 public television channel; 4 domestic commercial TV stations and about 15 regional TV stations; Turkish, Russian, and Iranian TV and radio broadcasts are available, especially in border regions; cable TV services are available in Baku; 1 state-run and 1 public radio network operating; a small number of private commercial radio stations broadcasting; local FM relays of Baku commercial stations are available in many localities; local relays of several international broadcasters had been available until late 2008 when their broadcasts were banned from FM frequencies (2008)

Internet country code:

.az

Internet hosts:

22,737 (2010) country comparison to the world: 105

Internet users:

2.42 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 70

Transportation ::Azerbaijan

Airports:

35 (2010) country comparison to the world: 109

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 27

over 3,047 m: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 6

1,524 to 2,437 m: 13

914 to 1,523 m: 4

under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 8

under 914 m: 8 (2010)

Heliports:

1 (2010)

Pipelines:

condensate 1 km; gas 3,361 km; oil 1,424 km (2009)

Railways:

total: 2,918 km country comparison to the world: 57 broad gauge: 2,918 km 1.520-m gauge (1,278 km electrified) (2009)

Roadways:

total: 59,141 km country comparison to the world: 76 paved: 29,210 km

unpaved: 29,931 km (2004)

Merchant marine:

total: 92 country comparison to the world: 54 by type: cargo 27, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 9, petroleum tanker 48, roll on/roll off 3, specialized tanker 3

foreign-owned: 1 (Turkey 1)

registered in other countries: 2 (Malta 1, Panama 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Baku (Baki)

Military ::Azerbaijan

Military branches:

Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

men between 18 and 35 are liable for military service; 18 years of age for voluntary military service; length of military service is 18 months and 12 months for university graduates (2006)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 2,336,611

females age 16-49: 2,329,275 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,753,878

females age 16-49: 1,958,408 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 84,441

female: 78,905 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

2.6% of GDP (2005 est.) country comparison to the world: 54

Transnational Issues ::Azerbaijan

Disputes - international:

Armenia supports ethnic Armenian secessionists in Nagorno-Karabakh and since the early 1990s has militarily occupied 16% of Azerbaijan; over 800,000 mostly ethnic Azerbaijanis were driven from the occupied lands and Armenia; about 230,000 ethnic Armenians were driven from their homes in Azerbaijan into Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh; Azerbaijan seeks transit route through Armenia to connect to Naxcivan exclave; Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) continues to mediate dispute; Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia have ratified Caspian seabed delimitation treaties based on equidistance, while Iran continues to insist on an even one-fifth allocation and challenges Azerbaijan's hydrocarbon exploration in disputed waters; bilateral talks continue with Turkmenistan on dividing the seabed and contested oilfields in the middle of the Caspian; Azerbaijan and Georgia continue to discuss the alignment of their boundary at certain crossing areas

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 2,400 (Russia)

IDPs: 580,000-690,000 (conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh) (2007)

Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Azerbaijan is primarily a source and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor; women and some children from Azerbaijan are trafficked to Turkey and the UAE for the purpose of sexual exploitation; men and boys are trafficked to Russia for the purpose of forced labor; Azerbaijan serves as a transit country for victims from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Moldova trafficked to Turkey and the UAE for sexual exploitation

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Azerbaijan is on the Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons, particularly efforts to investigate, prosecute, and punish traffickers; to address complicity among law enforcement personnel; and to adequately identify and protect victims in Azerbaijan; the government has yet to develop a much-needed mechanism to identify potential trafficking victims and refer them to safety and care; poor treatment of trafficking victims in courtrooms continues to be a problem (2008)

Illicit drugs:

limited illicit cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for CIS consumption; small government eradication program; transit point for Southwest Asian opiates bound for Russia and to a lesser extent the rest of Europe

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Heydar Aliyev (1923–2003)

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