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Azerbaijan continues to be plagued by an unresolved eight-year-old conflict with Armenian separatists over its Nagorno-Karabakh region. The Karabakh Armenians have declared independence and seized almost 20% of the country's territory, creating almost 1 million Azeri refugees in the process. Both sides have generally observed a Russian-mediated cease-fire in place since May 1994, and support the OSCE-mediated peace process, now entering its fifth year. Nevertheless, Baku and Xankandi (Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh region) remain far apart on most substantive issues from the placement and composition of a peacekeeping force to the enclave's ultimate political status, and prospects for a negotiated settlement remain dim.


Location: 40 30 N, 47 30 E -- Southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia

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Description: three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), red, and green; a crescent and eight-pointed star in white are centered in red band


Location: Southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia
Geographic coordinates: 40 30 N, 47 30 E
Map references: Commonwealth of Independent States
total area: 86,600 sq km
land area: 86,100 sq km
comparative area: slightly larger than Maine
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
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 (800 km, est.)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
International disputes: violent and longstanding dispute with ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh over its status; Caspian Sea boundaries are not yet determined
Climate: dry, semiarid steppe
Terrain: large, flat Kur-Araz Lowland (much of it below sea level) with Great Caucasus Mountains to the north, Qarabag (Karabakh) Upland in west; Baku lies on Abseron (Apsheron) Peninsula that juts into Caspian Sea
lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m
highest point: Bazarduzu Dagi 4,485 m
Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, nonferrous metals, alumina
Land use:
arable land: 18%
permanent crops: 4%
meadows and pastures: 25%
forest and woodland: 0%
other: 53%
Irrigated land: 14,010 sq km (1990)
current issues: local scientists consider the Abseron (Apsheron) Peninsula (including Baku and Sumqayit) and the Caspian Sea to be the ecologically most devastated area in the world because of severe air, water, and soil pollution; soil pollution results from the use of DDT as a pesticide and also from toxic defoliants used in the production of cotton
natural hazards: droughts; some lowland areas threatened by rising levels of the Caspian Sea
international agreements: party to - Climate Change; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity
Geographic note: landlocked


Population: 7,676,953 (July 1996 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 32% (male 1,270,812; female 1,215,781)
15-64 years: 61% (male 2,293,688; female 2,423,222)
65 years and over: 7% (male 179,048; female 294,402) (July 1996 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.78% (1996 est.)
Birth rate: 22.28 births/1,000 population (1996 est.)
Death rate: 8.69 deaths/1,000 population (1996 est.)
Net migration rate: -5.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1996 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.61 male(s)/female
all ages: 0.95 male(s)/female (1996 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 74.5 deaths/1,000 live births (1996 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 64.84 years
male: 60.13 years
female: 69.78 years (1996 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.64 children born/woman (1996 est.)
noun: Azerbaijani(s)
adjective: Azerbaijani
Ethnic divisions: Azeri 90%, Dagestani Peoples 3.2%, Russian 2.5%, Armenian 2.3%, other 2% (1995 est.)
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; actual practicing adherents are much lower
Languages: Azeri 89%, Russian 3%, Armenian 2%, other 6% (1995 est.)
Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1989 est.)
total population: 97%
male: 99%
female: 96%


Name of country:
conventional long form: Azerbaijani Republic
conventional short form: Azerbaijan
local long form: Azarbaycan Respublikasi
local short form: none
former: Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic
Data code: AJ
Type of government: republic
Capital: Baku (Baki)
Administrative divisions: 59 rayons (rayonlar; rayon - singular), 11 cities* (saharlar; sahar - singular), 1 autonomous republic** (muxtar respublika); Abscron Rayonu, Agcabadi Rayonu, Agdam Rayonu, Agdas Rayonu, Agstafa Rayonu, Agsu Rayonu, AliBayramli Sahari*, Astara Rayonu, Baki Sahari*, Balakan Rayonu, Barda Rayonu, Beylaqan Rayonu, Bilasuvar Rayonu, Cabrayil Rayonu, Calilabad Rayonu, Daskasan Rayonu, Davaci Rayonu, Fuzuli Rayonu, Gadabay Rayonu, Ganca Sahari*, Goranboy Rayonu, Goycay Rayonu, Haciqabul Rayonu, Imisli Rayonu, Ismayilli Rayonu, Kalbacar Rayonu, Kurdamir Rayonu, Lacin Rayonu, Lankaran Rayonu, Lankaran Sahari*, Lerik Rayonu, Masalli Rayonu, Mingacevir Sahari*, Naftalan Sahari*, Naxcivan Muxtar Respublikasi**, Neftcala Rayonu, Oguz Rayonu, Qabala Rayonu, Qax Rayonu, Qazax Rayonu, Qobustan Rayonu, Quba Rayonu, Qubadli Rayonu, Qusar Rayonu, Saatli Rayonu, Sabirabad Rayonu, Saki Rayonu, Saki Sahari*, Salyan Rayonu, Samaxi Rayonu, Samkir Rayonu, Samux Rayonu, Siyazan Rayonu, Sumqayit Sahari*, Susa Rayonu, Susa Sahari*, Tartar Rayonu, Tovuz Rayonu, Ucar Rayonu, Xacmaz Rayonu, Xankandi Sahari*, Xanlar Rayonu, Xizi Rayonu, Xocali Rayonu, Xocavand Rayonu, Yardimb Rayonu, Yevlax Rayonu, Yevlax Sahari*, Zangilan Rayonu, Zaqatala Rayonu, Zardab Rayonu
Independence: 30 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday: Independence Day, 28 May
Constitution: adopted 12 November 1995
Legal system: based on civil law system
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Heydar ALIYEV (since 18 June 1993) was elected by popular vote; election last held 3 October 1993 (next to be held 1997 or 1998); results - Heydar ALIYEV won 97% of vote
head of government: Prime Minister Fuad QULIYEV (since 9 October 1994), First Deputy Prime Ministers Abbas ABBASOV (since NA), Samed SADYKOV (since NA), Vahid AKHMEDOV (since NA), Elchin EFENDIYEV (since NA) were appointed by the president and confirmed by the Milli Mejlis
cabinet: Council of Ministers was appointed by the president and confirmed by the Mejlis
Legislative branch: unicameral
National Assembly (Milli Mejlis): elections last held 12 and 26 November 1995 (next to be held NA); percent of vote by party NA; seats - (125 total) number of seats by party NA
Judicial branch: Supreme Court
Political parties and leaders: Azerbaijan Popular Front (APF), Ebulfez ELCIBEY, chairman; Musavat Party, Isa GAMBAR, chairman; National Independence Party, Etibar MAMEDOV, chairman; Social Democratic Party (SDP), Araz ALIZADE, chairman; Communist Party, Ramiz AKHMEDOV, chairman; People's Freedom Party, Yunus OGUZ, chairman; Independent Social Democratic Party, Arif YUNUSOV and Leila YUNOSOVA, cochairmen; New Azerbaijan Party, Heydar ALIYEV, chairman; Boz Gurd Party, Iskander HAMIDOV, chairman; Azerbaijan Democratic Independence Party, Qabil HUSEYNLI, chairman; Islamic Party of Azerbaijan, Ali Akram, chairman; Ana Veten Party, Fazail AGAMALIYEV; Azerbaijan Democratic Party, Sardar Jalaloglu MAMEDOV; Azerbaijan Democratic Party of Proprietors (DPOP), Makhmud MAMEDOV; Azerbaijan Patriotic Solidarity Party, Sabir RUSTAMHANLI; Azerbaijan Republic Reform Party, Fuad ASADOV; Communist Party of Azerbaijan (unregistered), Sayad SAYADOV; Equality of the Peoples Party, Faukhraddin AYDAYEV; Independent Azerbaijan Party, Nizami SULEYMANOV; Labor Party of Azerbaijan, Sabutai HAJIYEV; Liberal-Democratic Party of Azerbaijan, Lyudmila NIKOLAYEVNA; National Enlightenment Party, Hajy Osman EFENDIYEV; National Liberation Party, Panak SHAKHSEVEV; Peasant Party, Firuz MUSTAFAYEV; Radical Party of Azerbaijan, Malik SHARIFOV; United Azerbaijan Party, Kerrar ABILOV; Vetan Adzhagy Party, Zakir TAGIYEV
Other political or pressure groups: self-proclaimed Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh Republic; Talysh independence movement
International organization participation: BSEC, CCC, CIS, EBRD, ECE, ECO, ESCAP, FAO, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NACC, NAM (observer), OIC, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Hafiz Mir Jalal PASHAYEV
chancery: (temporary) Suite 700, 927 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
telephone: [1] (202) 842-0001
FAX: [1] (202) 842-0004
US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Richard D. KAUZLARICH
embassy: Azadliq Prospekti 83, Baku
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [9] (9412) 96-00-19, 98-03-37, 98-03-36, 93-64-80, 96-36-21
FAX: [9] (9412) 98-37-55
Flag: three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), red, and green; a crescent and eight-pointed star in white are centered in red band


Economic overview: Azerbaijan is less developed industrially than either Armenia or Georgia, the other Transcaucasian states. It resembles the Central Asian states in its majority nominally Muslim population, high structural unemployment, and low standard of living. The economy's most prominent products are oil, cotton, and gas. Production from the Caspian oil and gas field has been in decline for several years, but the November 1994 ratification of the $7.5 billion oil deal with a consortium of Western companies should generate the funds needed to spur future industrial development. Azerbaijan shares all the formidable problems of the ex-Soviet republics in making the transition from a command to a market economy, but its considerable energy resources brighten its long-term prospects. Baku has only recently begun making progress on economic reform, and old economic ties and structures have yet to be replaced. Whereas the economies of most of the former Soviet republics had begun to bottom out in 1995, Azerbaijan's economy continued to plummet because of its late start on economic reform.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $11.5 billion (1995 estimate as extrapolated from World Bank estimate for 1994)
GDP real growth rate: -17% (1995 est.)
GDP per capita: $1,480 (1995 est.)
GDP composition by sector:
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 85% (1995 est.)
Labor force: 2.789 million
by occupation: agriculture and forestry 32%, industry and construction 26%, other 42% (1990)
Unemployment rate: 2.3% includes officially registered unemployed; also large numbers of unregistered unemployed and underemployed workers (December 1995)
revenues: $465 million
expenditures: $488 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1995 est.)
Industries: petroleum and natural gas, petroleum products, oilfield equipment; steel, iron ore, cement; chemicals and petrochemicals; textiles
Industrial production growth rate: -21% (1995 est.)
capacity: 4,900,000 kW
production: 17 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 2,200 kWh (1995 est.)
Agriculture: cotton, grain, rice, grapes, fruit, vegetables, tea, tobacco; cattle, pigs, sheep, goats
Illicit drugs: illicit cultivator of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for CIS consumption; limited government eradication program; transshipment point for illicit drugs to Western Europe
Exports: $549.9 million (f.o.b., 1995)
commodities: oil and gas, chemicals, oilfield equipment, textiles, cotton
partners: mostly CIS and European countries
Imports: $681.5 million (c.i.f., 1995)
commodities: machinery and parts, consumer durables, foodstuffs, textiles
partners: European countries
External debt: $100 million (of which $75 million to Russia)
Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $14 million (1993)
note: commitments, 1992-95, $1,000 million ($185 million in disbursements); wheat from Turkey
Currency: 1 manat = 100 gopik
Exchange rates: manats per US$1 - 4,375 (April 1996), 4,500 (April 1995), 4,168 (end of December 1994)
Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 2,125 km in common carrier service; does not include industrial lines
broad gauge: 2,125 km 1.520-m gauge (1,278 km electrified) (1993)
total: 36,700 km
paved: 31,800 km (includes graveled)
unpaved: 4,900 km (1990 est.)
Pipelines: crude oil 1,130 km; petroleum products 630 km; natural gas 1,240 km
Ports: Baku (Baki)
total: 69
with paved runways over 3 047 m: 2
with paved runways 2 438 to 3 047 m: 6
with paved runways 1 524 to 2 437 m: 17
with paved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 3
with paved runways under 914 m: 1
with unpaved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 7
with unpaved runways under 914 m: 33 (1994 est.)


Telephones: 710,000 (1991 est.)
Telephone system: 202,000 persons waiting for telephone installations (January 1991 est.)
domestic: telephone service is of poor quality and inadequate; a joint venture to establish a cellular telephone system in the Baku area was supposed to become operational in 1994
international: cable and microwave radio relay connections to former Soviet republics; connection through Moscow international gateway switch to other countries; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat and 1 Intersputnik (Intelsat provides service to Turkey and through Turkey to 200 more countries; Intersputnik provides direct service to New York)
Radio broadcast stations: AM NA, FM NA, shortwave NA (1 state-owned radio broadcast station)
Radios: NA
Television broadcast stations: 2
note: domestic and Russian TV programs are received locally and Turkish and Iranian TV is received from an Intelsat satellite through a receive-only earth station
Televisions: NA <


Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Maritime Border Guard
Manpower availability:
males age 15-49: 1,952,390
males fit for military service: 1,574,813
males reach military age (18) annually: 68,006 (1996 est.)
Defense expenditures: 33.5 billion manats, NA% of GDP (1994); note - conversion of defense expenditures into US dollars using the current exchange rate could produce misleading results

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